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Barrier Breakers’ plans to expand its crisis advocacy services have received a welcome boost after receiving support to buy a second car for its volunteers to reach those in need.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester today announced the mental health advocacy service would receive $10,000 through the #lovegippsland Stronger Communities Program to help purchase the new vehicle.

“Barrier Breakers supports people with a mental illness who are facing a crisis in their lives,” Mr Chester said.

“These volunteers advocating on behalf of their clients to help resolve and manage those issues, whether it be securing mental health support or negotiating with government agencies on their behalf.

“With just one vehicle to service all of the six local government areas in Gippsland and volunteers regularly using their own cars at their own cost, the need for the second vehicle is clear.”

Barrier Breakers Chief Executive Officer Gayle Vinall said the remaining cost of the new vehicle would be donated by the Peter Dullard Motor Group in Bairnsdale.

“With an additional vehicle, we can help our clients, who are among the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people in our community,” Ms Vinall said.

“We’ve recently expanded our crisis advocacy services into Wellington and East Gippsland shires, where the number of inquiries from prospective clients is rapidly growing.

“The new car will help us to service these people, including those without a car of their own or access to public transport.”

Mr Chester said Barrier Breakers was one of 19 organisations in Gippsland to receive funding support so far under the round three of the #lovegippsland Stronger Communities Program.

“I’m pleased to play a role in helping so many community-based organisations, including Barrier Breakers, to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others,” Mr Chester said.

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