Social Inclusion Project

The Social Inclusion Project offered social inclusion phone calls two days a week to women, nonbinary and gender diverse people experiencing isolation and distress during the COVID-19 lockdown in Victoria. As part of the project we also undertook research some qualitative research in to loneliness and isolation. This project was funded by Australian Unity across six months.

An outcome of this project is the research report Safe and Supported to Blossom. Working with community services professionals and people with a lived experience of social exclusion, WIRE has conducted qualitative research into loneliness and isolation. This pivotal report examines the significance of exclusion and the importance of being part of a community.

Click here to download the report.

Watch the official launch of the report here:

This research highlighted the human need for connections as all people interviewed reported wanting to be part of a community and feel a sense of belonging. Even people who were not looking for friendships said they still wanted to be a part of something, and that just being around people made them feel less lonely. More than a third of respondents stated they wanted to feel more like an active participant in society and would like to have more opportunities to give back and contribute to society in different ways.

The research also highlighted how exclusion can often lead to loneliness and isolation, with more than half of the people interviewed stated that judgements and stigma had led to loneliness and isolation in their lives. As a society we need to do a better job of being inclusive of diversity and create spaces that are safe and welcoming for all people.

Hearing the expertise from people with lived experiences has been invaluable and will inform and shape the direction of a number of future projects and will have an impact on work at WIRE and in the community as a whole for many future years to come.

For more information about the Social Inclusion Project, contact Anna Andersson at aandersson@wire.org.au.

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