Community Scoop

Performer calls for more non-alcoholic choices

Press Release – FebFast

Performer, writer and celebrant Pinky Agnew is astonished how little thought is given to providing a good range of non-alcoholic drinks in restaurants, clubs and bars.27 January 2012

Performer calls for more non-alcoholic choices

Performer, writer and celebrant Pinky Agnew is astonished how little thought is given to providing a good range of non-alcoholic drinks in restaurants, clubs and bars.

She is an ambassador for the Drug Foundation’s FebFast fundraiser, which starts next week on 1 February and challenges New Zealanders to go for a whole month without drinking alcohol.

Participants will raise money via online sponsorship for four charities working with young people affected by alcohol or drug issues.

For details on how to register, visit Money raised this year will help to support alcohol and drug programmes run by four organisations: Evolve (Wellington), Rainbow Youth (Auckland), CareNZ (Waikato), and the ADHD Association.

Pinky Agnew was an ambassador for last year’s FebFast as well, which raised more than $100,000 for youth charities.

She says that dining out during FebFast was a real eye-opener.

“The biggest surprise was finding how little thought is put into non-alcoholic drink choices in restaurants, clubs and bars,” she says.

“When my then-fiancé and I celebrated our anniversary last February, we chose a fine dining restaurant. When we asked the sommelier about non-alcoholic drinks, we were offered orange juice, fizzy drinks or mocktails. None of these would have complemented the food we were eating.

“As a result of this experience we made sure that when we married in July, we offered our guests a wide range of high-end cordials, iced tea and waters. Not an industrial strength OJ in sight!”

She’s encouraging people to take part in FebFast.

“When I became a FebFast ambassador last year I really didn’t know what to expect. Like many people of my age and social group, I enjoy a glass of wine in the evening.

“Over the years this has become more and more of a habit, and I have equated wine with relaxing and socialising. Taking a month off my habit was a great opportunity to reflect on this.

“I am delighted to be asked to be an ambassador again. It’s a superb way to raise awareness about our drinking habits – and of course, to raise money too, for an excellent cause.”

To register for FebFast or to find out more visit

About the recipient organisations for FebFast 2012:

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

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

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 and the sites.

CareNZ, Waikato. Every year CareNZ helps more than 2700 people overcome addiction issues. FebFast funding will support an on-going 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


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