1. Home
  2. Adult social care and health
  3. Health and wellbeing
  4. Healthy Ageing through Innovation in Rural Europe (HAIRE)

Healthy Ageing through Innovation in Rural Europe (HAIRE)


Healthy Ageing through Innovation in Rural Europe (HAIRE) is a project funded by Interreg 2 Seas and the EU’s European Regional Development Fund. It is led by the Social Innovation Group at the University of Exeter and is currently scheduled to run until September 2022.

East Sussex County Council and Rother Voluntary Action are among a team of fifteen project partners from across the UK, France, Belgium and Netherlands, supported by twenty ‘observer partners’ and the Joint Secretariat from Interreg.

HAIRE will work with older people in Robertsbridge and Rye to develop and test systems that empower and enable older people to:

  • define what support they need
  • participate in the design and delivery of services
  • develop solutions for themselves, supported by the voluntary, private and public sectors.

To help do this, the project will develop a novel ‘HAIRE toolkit’ that will help local people and organisations find out about each other and their communities in new ways. This understanding will be used to:

  • reduce isolation and loneliness and improve wellbeing in the 60+ age group
  • increase active participation of older people and the voluntary sector in service design and delivery
  • increase collaboration between local agencies and Voluntary and Community Sector Organisations (VCSOs)
  • create new models of service delivery
  • achieve widespread change to models of delivery across the 2Seas area and beyond.


As part of the Ageing Well Digital Festival 2020, the project ran a series of one-hour events around the themes of healthy ageing. Please see our events page: HAIRE Ageing Well Festival events

Get involved

There are several ways for local people and organisations to get involved. The East Sussex County Council and Rother Voluntary Action HAIRE team are recruiting and training local people in Robertsbridge and Rye in how to undertake ‘guided conversations’ with local older people. We will then be working with a range of local people and organisations to use the understanding gained from these conversations to develop new community initiatives.

To find out more or to get involved, please send an email to Sue Dunkley, HAIRE Project Support Officer

Email: Sue Dunkley