Wellington Mayor backs alcohol-free fundraiser

Press Release – FebFast

As part of a fitness regime for Round The Bays Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown is getting right behind the Drug Foundation’s FebFast community fundraiser. 29 December 2011

Wellington Mayor backs alcohol-free fundraiser

As part of a fitness regime for Round The Bays Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown is getting right behind the Drug Foundation’s FebFast community fundraiser.

She’s hoping that a month without alcohol will help her be fitter for the capital’s seven kilometre ‘Round the Bays’ run at the end of February.

“I’m aiming to better my time in the run so less alcohol will be a key part of my preparation,” she says.

Ms Wade-Brown is an ambassador for FebFast 2012, which challenges New Zealanders to give up drinking alcohol for all of February. Participants raise money via online sponsorship for four charities working with young people affected by alcohol or drugs.

Nearly a thousand people took part in the first FebFast in February 2011, which raised more than $100,000 for four community organisations. People can participate in FebFast as individuals or in teams of friends, family, workmates – more information is available at www.febfast.org.nz.

“FebFast isn’t about giving up alcohol for ever. It’s about taking a step back and looking at the role of alcohol in our lives, and about helping community organisations which do such valuable work,” says Mayor Wade-Brown.

The Mayor regularly meets people living with the consequences of drug or alcohol issues.

“For example, this morning I helped out at the Home of Compassion’s Soup Kitchen, and there were a number of people whose lives have been substantially harmed and who would do anything to turn the clock back.”

The recipient organisations for FebFast 2012 are:

Evolve, a free Wellington service for young people aged 10 to 25 years. Evolve provides a wide range of general health, primary care and social services to assist youth. The funding it receives from FebFast will support a new programme for brief interventions with young people around alcohol and drug use. You can read more about Evolve at www.evolveyouth.org.nz.

The ADHD Association, which educates, supports and advocates for people affected by ADHD. FebFast funding will support the development of a substance abuse educational resource for young people with ADHD. Research shows that this group are more prone to substance abuse. The DVD/study guide produced from FebFast funding will be a first in New Zealand for ADHD, and will be relevant to the many social agencies involved with this group. You can read more about the ADHD Association at www.adhd.org.nz.

Rainbow Youth, Auckland. Queer and Transgender youth are more likely to drink often and heavily, more likely to drink alone, and more likely to have had family or friends tell them to reduce their drinking. Rainbow Youth wants to change the way alcohol and drug use is viewed, and will use its FebFast funding to raise awareness of the issues, for example through the use of blogs on the www.curious.org.nz and the www.rainbowyouth.org.nz sites.

CareNZ, Waikato. Every year CareNZ helps more than 2700 people overcome addiction issues. FebFast funding will support an ongoing project that follows up focus group results collected from 14 schools. This will involve raising awareness of alcohol issues, the availability of help, and the need to diminish the harm caused by youth drinking in schools. You can read more about CareNZ at www.carenz.org.nz.

FebFast Coordinator Catherine Milburn says the event is all about participation, giving others a helping hand, and giving our bodies a break after the hectic festive season.

“It’s about having fun and taking a month off alcohol during February to create some space in our busy lives,” she says.


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