Participants sought for community research project

OLDER residents in Rye and Robertsbridge are being asked to share their experiences of life in rural Rother to help improve their communities for the future.

Healthy Ageing through Innovation in Rural Europe (HAIRE) is a research and community action project, funded by Interreg 2 Seas and the EU’s European Regional Development Fund, that aims to empower and enable older people to define what support they need, reduce loneliness, and improve health and wellbeing.

Residents from Rye, Robertsbridge and the surrounding villages who are aged 60 plus and not in full time employment, are being asked to take part in confidential conversations with fully trained HAIRE volunteers, either by phone or online, to discuss their life and experiences.

The ‘guided conversations’ will explore the different aspects of life in rural Rother, including the opportunities and challenges residents face and the ways local older people stay happy, healthy and independent.

The information gathered will be anonymised before being shared with a range of local people and organisations to develop new community initiatives.

Cllr Carl Maynard, lead member for adult social care and health, said: “The HAIRE project is a fantastic way for older residents in rural Rother to contribute to making their community a great place to live.

“By being involved in the project older people in these communities can help ensure they receive the support they need in order to lead healthy, safe and fulfilling lives.

“I would encourage those residents who are eligible to take part and have a say in shaping their communities for the future.”

The project is a joint initiative between East Sussex County Council and Rother Voluntary Action and is one of fifteen projects taking place in the UK, France, Belgium and Netherlands.

To take part participants must be 60 years or older, not in full time employment and live in Rye, Robertsbridge or the surrounding villages. To find out more or to get involved, please contact Sue Dunkley, HAIRE Project Support Officer, at