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Apollo Research: Combating Loneliness in Rural Areas with the University of Plymouth and University

Updated: Jan 10

Apollo Health Innovations are delighted to announce our research partnership with the University of Plymouth in collaboration with the University of Exeter led Healthy Ageing through Innovation in Rural Europe (HAIRE) project.

HAIRE is an Interreg funded initiative led by the University of Exeter that works with a wide range of partners across England, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. At the centre of the project is the importance of understanding the lived experience of ageing in multiple ways – in terms of physical health, mental and emotional wellbeing, loneliness, social relationships, connections to local organisations and services, transport, finances, and what people perceive their future might hold.

The issue of rural isolation and loneliness is not a new concern. Back in 2011, the Campaign to End Loneliness was set up, highlighting that: Rural areas have a unique set of circumstances that can exacerbate the social isolation of older residents, leading to poor health, loss of independence and lower quality of life. These factors range from lower per capita expenditure on social care to greater reliance on car ownership, particularly for visiting family or getting to the shops.

The HAIRE project therefore brings together and supports the training of volunteers within 8 pilot sites across the international partnership to administer the HAIRE toolkit. The toolkit consists of a Guided Conversation tool, as well an easy-to-use Social Network Analysis and Neighbourhood Analysis tool.

Discussing the research project, Managing Director of Apollo Health Innovations, Dr Sebastian Stevens stated:

“We are delighted to be contributing our expertise in Social Network Analysis to the HAIRE partnership, supporting their mission to combat loneliness and support healthy ageing across the UK and Europe. Supporting research projects to realise real-world benefits to the health and wellbeing of our communities is foundational to why we established Apollo Health Innovations”

To learn more about the HAIRE initiative please click here.

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