Febfast is an annual campaign that challenges participants to give up alcohol for the entirety of February. It comes as an important reminder to detox after the Christmas party season.
Alcohol is a pervasive aspect of Australian culture, with roughly 1 in 4 Australian adults exceeding the Australian Adult Alcohol Guideline in the 2020-2021 financial year (according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics).
In light of these staggering numbers, Febfast encourages participants to reflect on their relationship with and consumption of alcohol. In taking on this challenge, participants also have the opportunity to raise funds for youth alcohol and drug services.
Continue reading for everything you need to know about Febfast, including its history, impact, and how you can get involved.
We have training locations in every state, city, and major town throughout Australia. Head to our website to find and enrol in a first aid course near you today.
Febfast initially was laughed off when founder Fiona Healy, a media officer, grew uneasy with how much alcohol was consumed at functions leading up to Christmas in 2006, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
She started a conversation by taking a tin and talking about it. People gave, and that first year she raised $910.
In less than five years, she had kickstarted a whole movement, had a website, a foundation and was raising up to $1 million. She was overwhelmed with the stories coming in about the simple lifestyle changes of people giving up alcohol for a month.
One woman said her children could hug her now without feeling they had to avoid her due to hangovers.
In the last 25 years, 60,000 people have participated in Febfast with 85,851 young people being supported through the raised funds.
While raising funds for youth services, Febfast also gives Australians a moment to pause and reflect on their own alcohol consumption. Giving up alcohol can have long-term health and lifestyle benefits that include:
To get involved, register with an endorsed organisation, such as Youth Support and Advocacy Service, which gives you support for yourself in the challenge and a fundraising portal.
Taking time at the start of the year to re-evaluate one’s relationship with alcohol is part of the campaign behind Febfast.
Fasting and abstaining from alcohol for a month can have some immediate short-term benefits such as more energy, better sleep, and financial savings. You can also raise funds for youth services with the challenge.
Sign up to a general or childcare first aid course for more tips on proactively managing your wellbeing: