Rural communities in the 2Seas area are at risk of dying out: 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. The numbers of elderly (aged 60+) will double in the next 30 years in the 2Seas area. The common societal challenge for the 2Seas area is managing the needs of the ageing population whilst encouraging healthy ageing and realising the potential of older people, which has been overlooked.

The project will develop and test systems that empower and enable older people (aged 60+ and no longer employed) in rural areas to:

  • define what support they need;
  • participate in the design and delivery of services;
  • develop solutions for themselves to reduce loneliness and improve quality of life, health and wellbeing, based on their own interests, capabilities and preferences, and supported by the voluntary, private and public sectors.

The project aims to:

  • reduce isolation and loneliness & improve wellbeing in the 60+ age group;
  • increase collaboration between participating agencies and Voluntary & Community Sector Organisations (VCSOs);
  • improve rural community vitality;
  • increase active participation of older people & voluntary sector in service design & delivery;
  • create new models of service delivery.

Project Partners

Exeter University are leading on this project. There are 15 partners in total from England, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Project Meeting - Lille, France 10-12 February 2020

The first meeting of all partners, and the launch of the HAIRE project, took place in Lille, France (hosted by the Department of the Nord) on the 10-12 February 2020.

If you would like to find out more about this project please email

Interreg 2 Seas:

Interreg 2 Seas 2014-2020 is a European Territorial Cooperation Programme covering England, France, the Netherlands and Belgium (Flanders). The Programme is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and has a total of €241m (£203m) ERDF to co-finance projects in the 2014 – 2020 period.

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