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Applications are open – closing very soon – for the FRESHER weekend. If you would like to spend the 6-8 August weekend at the Sylvan Glen Estate to #reconnect with your volunteer #emergencyservices peers/ colleagues, to get some tools to promote your #mentalhealth & #wellbeing, and have some fun, please apply by clicking the link below. Applications close on the 30th June and offers will be made by the 4th July 2021. This is at no cost to participants because we want to thank you for your volunteer service to communities. Please share with your friends and networks.

Apply using this link > FRESHER Application


People have been asking us about the upcoming FRESHER retreat – some of the questions raised (and our responses) were:

1. “It’s free.. what’s the catch”?

There is no catch. The AFRF have been busily sourcing funding to be able to offer the retreat to you for no cost to you. We believe that as volunteers you deserve to have access to a retreat that allows you to reconnect, reframe and reset.

2. Will we have to share a room?

No, everyone will have their own room and most have ensuites. So, it doesn’t matter if you snore!

3. What will we be doing?

The FRESHER is an opportunity for volunteers to spend time together and sharing stories and experiences with people who understand and know what it’s like to be a volunteer emergency first responder. We will provide you with education, strategies and tools to improve and support your overall wellbeing and mental health. It will be a social, friendly weekend with some laughs along the way.

4. Do I need to do anything else after the FRESHER weekend?

Given we will be spending 2 days together, you may want to stay in touch with your fellow peers – we encourage it – but that’s up to you. We will touch base with you in a month or two to see how things are going but besides that you can choose how and when to use your new tools and strategies to improve your wellbeing. It’s likely though that you will want to share them with you family and friends!

5. Do I need to have a problem or mental health condition to attend the FRESHER?

No! This program is based on evidenced based information that focuses on prevention, being healthy and mentally fit. We know like everyone that volunteer emergency first responders struggle at times and that’s normal. Everyone attending the retreat will bring with them their own experiences, we understand and respect that.

If you would like to join us on the August 6-8th at the FRESHER course at Sylvan Glen, please click FRESHER Application to complete an application

2 thoughts on “FRESHER Course”

  1. COVID Update: We are closely monitoring the situation and the advice from the NSW Government regarding the restrictions that apply in NSW. Please be advised that we will comply with those orders insofar as any activities that are held at the Sylvan Glen FRESHER retreat, should the retreat go ahead. Your health and safety are very much in mind and COVID safe practices will be followed.

    At this time, we remain committed to the event, as the lockdown does not extend currently to when the retreat is to be held.

    We recognise that the registered participants come from the designated Greater Sydney area in which the restrictions in place now, should they continue, would prevent them from attending. However, until the restrictions are announced for the period when the retreat is scheduled, we will continue to plan for the event. We will notify you as soon as we can of any changes to these arrangements.

  2. Due to the current COVID situation, we have had to postpone our first FRESHER weekend scheduled for 6-8 Aug. All our participants have been advised of the postponement.
    We would like to thank all of our supporters and those who have generously given donations towards FRESHER. Rest assured that the AFRF Board are committed to looking after the mental health and wellbeing of our emergency first responders and we will be rescheduling the next FRESHER weekend when it is safe to do so.
    Take care and stay safe everyone!

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