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Barrier Breakers Annual Charity Dinner

Barrier Breakers Annual Charity DinnerIMG_20151230_0001

On Saturday evening, the 12th of December, 2015, the Barrier Breakers Fundraising Committee hosted another wonderful Charity Dinner at the Century Inn, Traralgon.  The work done by Barrier Breakers is advocacy for those with mental health issues.  Our long term advocacy addresses homelessness and the need for supported accommodation.  In our day to day work we provide advocacy for our clients’ need in their individual crisis. 

The evening consisted of fine music provided initially by the Warragul Theatre Group with their acapella rendition of a Christmas medley, followed by the band Misty who played many old favourites, providing an opportunity for couples to enjoy an evening of dancing.

 Century Inn, McDonald’s Gippsland, The Grand Junction Hotel and ACE Radio are major sponsors of Barrier Breakers, and their contribution is gratefully acknowledged.

 Grant Johnstone of ACE Radio was an entertaining and competent Master of Ceremonies & Auctioneer.  The primary fundraising auction included dinners at Parliament House with Darren Chester, a Daylesford weekend getaway, both Footy Show tickets and tickets to the Australian Open at Rod Laver Arena including Southbank accommodation, and exclusive wine were each met with enthusiastic bids.  And of course, the silent auction, various door prizes and fundraising spinning wheel all contributed to an interesting and exciting evening.

 Andrew Fraser spoke of his and others’ experiences in the penal system of Victoria.  Linking the sadness of Christmas-behind-bars with the reality that it is often the mental health state of our prisoners that causes them to be there in the first place.  Andrew highlighted the homelessness of many in our community, that for some a jail cell is the best place they can find to call home.

 So, with that in mind, of most important note regarding this significant fifth Charity fundraising Dinner, is the showcasing of the opening of the now completed Hyde Park Supported Accommodation Units.  The need for supported accommodation throughout Gippsland and beyond, following deinstitutionalization is a recognized concern for all those who take an interest in, or are affected by loved ones who suffer mental illness.  We are so proud of our efforts in networking with other organizations to provide these units, and are delighted that today ten individuals from our community have a lovely home to live in, with the significant benefit of support provided at these units with workers facilitating clinical and community care.  Significantly, we have ensured that this home is available to these tenants in the long term, even when they face a crisis.  

 We thank everyone who was involved in organizing and supporting this event, particularly Gael Wilson and her team, and sincerely appreciate all financial contributions as we continue our journey of providing supported accommodation and crisis advocacy in the upcoming year, 2016.

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