A SOCIAL media campaign launched 12 months ago at Butserfest has achieved considerable worldwide success and was supported again this year at the popular alcohol and drug-free music festival near Petersfield.

The Breathe With Me ‘strawfie challenge’ is used to raise awareness by cystic fibrosis campaigners to demonstrate the experience of breathing with cystic fibrosis. Participants have to try breathing through a narrow straw for 60 seconds, then take a ‘straw-breathing selfie’ or ‘strawfie’ and post it online with a comment about how breathing in such a restricted way made them feel.

The challenge was built around a campaign song Breathe With Me, originally recorded by Crawley singer annaJo who has cystic fibrosis.

In 2014, Butserfest organisers played the song from the main stage at their annual event while festival goers took selfies of themselves breathing through a straw. At this year’s Butserfest, in Queen Elizabeth Country Park just off the A3 south of Petersfield, festival goers and members of some of the bands playing at the event once again joined in with this growing social media trend.

Forever In Depths were one of those bands who have since shared the challenge on their own Facebook page and nominated other bands, including Saint (The) Sinner and Networks.

A spokesman for the strawfie challenge said: “Like the ice bucket challenge, our aim is to spread the campaign by asking people to nominate others. It’s not just individuals who can take part, you can also ask clubs, pubs, and everyone at your local gym to join in and show support.

“The aim is to raise general awareness about cystic fibrosis and also along the way maybe teach people a little about the disease. Obviously, we also want to raise funds to help with research for a cure.

“Cystic fibrosis is one disease where the progress made so far can clearly be seen in the increased median age (41) that those living with the disease now achieve. As recently as the 1960s, people born with cystic fibrosis were not expected to live beyond school age, now many live into their thirties, forties and beyond.”

Money raised by supporters will help the Cystic Fibrosis Trust invest in transformational research and provide support for people with cystic fibrosis and those around them.

To donate, text BWCF64 £3 (or another amount) to 70070.