Narara resident, Louise Parfitt, is one of many Australians choosing this February to give up alcohol, sugar, or another vice as part of the febfast challenge.
The initiative invites people to fast for the month to help raise money for Youth Support and Advocacy Service (YSAS), which helps disadvantaged youth.
Parfitt had wanted to stop drinking for the past 12 months due to health reasons and said this challenge was great for motivation.
“I hadn’t heard of febfast before, but what a great cause,” Parfitt said.
“It is a great motivator, and the donations keep me feeling both accountable and encouraged.
“I have managed seven weeks previously, before falling into old habits.
“I actually stopped again just before febfast and I hope to keep going afterwards.
“There are days I struggle more than others, don’t get me wrong.
“So I’ll go out for a walk and remember why I am doing this and who I am doing it for.
“Health-wise, I absolutely feel better without alcohol – mentally and physically.
“I am more active, motivated, and a happier person overall.”
So far, Parfitt has raised $165 for YSAS and aims to reach $300.
“Vulnerable youth, drug and alcohol use, socio-economic disadvantage, and homelessness are all significant issues on the Central Coast,” Parfitt said.
“I am a single mum of three, so obviously have a vested interest in their future and wellbeing.”
People can still participate in the challenge despite it being halfway through the month.
“Early intervention and effective treatment mean that young people can have a fighting chance,” Parfitt said.
“A recent (excellent) documentary I watched said it could take up to 20 years for people struggling with addiction to seek treatment – how sad is that?
“We really need to work on reducing the stigma associated with addiction and mental health so people aren’t afraid to get the help they need.”