Healthy Ageing and Innovation in Rural Europe (HAIRE)

Healthy Ageing and Innovation in Rural Europe (HAIRE)

Healthy Ageing and Innovation in Rural Europe (HAIRE)

HAIRE is a partnership between East Sussex County Council (ESCC), Rother Voluntary Action (RVA) and older people in Robertsbridge and Rye that aims to:

  • Pilot new models of community engagement and service design
  • Build local capacity by delivering a range of training opportunities
  • Both reduce isolation and increase wellbeing of older people
  • Produce an in-depth community profile
  • Enable older people to have an active part in co-designing services
  • Improve community resilience and vitality.



HAIRE is part of a wider project funded through the Interreg 2 Seas EU programme between England, France, the Netherlands and Belgium (Flanders).  The project is concerned with the health and sustainability of rural communities: their populations are ageing and poor public transport, lack of local support and facilities, out-migration of young people, reduced services, isolation and fragmented health and social care systems all negatively impact the health and wellbeing of older people.

With the numbers of older people (those aged 60+) forecasted to double in the next 30 years in the 2Seas areas, there are common challenges in managing the needs of ageing populations while encouraging healthy ageing and realising the potential of older people.

There are some phases to the project:

  • Local steering groups will help shape the project to meet local needs, while a strategic group will help link it into the wider context of work across the county.
  • Local people will be offered the chance to be trained to have Guided Conversations with people to help identify how an individual’s health and wellbeing can be improved.
  • These conversations will help build a picture of what their communities need and want and how collectively they can design the solutions.
  • RVA and ESCC will support new initiatives to flourish, with the hope that lessons learned in the pilot areas can inform how the programme is rolled out more widely.

For more information about the HAIRE project or to get involved, please contact