Melbourne social enterprise Assisted Outing aims to lessen social isolation for people with needs

According to the Australian Network on Disability, over two million Australians of working age have a disability. While access to adequate and affordable care and services is crucial, studies show social exclusion is also a key issue for those with a disability.

A 2013 poll of over 700 Australians with a disability conducted by service provider Scope and Deakin University found 94 percent did not feel they had enough meaningful participation in their community.

Ninety percent added they didn’t have their need to feel valued and to belong met, with 91 percent of respondents stating they didn’t have their need for social contact and support met.

Looking to help bridge this gap is Victorian social enterprise startup Assisted Outing, founded by Winnie Wong.

As Wong explained it, Assisted Outing connects those with needs to assistants in their local community who can take them out on outings.

“Our aim is to address the issues of social inclusion and wellbeing of people with disability or chronic illness. There are about 2.7 million Australians that need help getting out of the house, and this is the group of customers that we would like to serve, because social isolation is a real issue,” she explained.

The idea is one close to Wong’s heart, having been her mother’s carer for more than a decade.