Red Cross is maintaining a drop-in centre in Blenheim for people who need ongoing support following the November earthquake. Red Cross has also been providing psychosocial support training to key agencies that are involved in recovery efforts and forming a long-term recovery plan for the region.

“We've identified the holidays as a time people will struggle,” says Donna Mote, Blenheim Red Cross Service Centre coordinator. “It's already a stressful time and the loss of income many people are experiencing along with damage to the community will compound this stress.”

“Seddon has lost all community meeting places, most are red-stickered or so damaged they are unusable. This makes it difficult for people to get together, which is especially hard for the community around Christmas when they would usually be holding events.”

A new Red Cross community development worker has also been appointed for the Marlborough region and will help with recovery efforts. Rebekah Hall's role will include supporting community resilience in the region.

“It is a big job but one I am putting all my energy toward,” says Ms Hall. “Some communities have suffered significantly from the November earthquake and people are under significant stress. It's important to remember that recovery is not a sprint but a marathon.”

Red Cross has announced a Damaged Home Grant of NZ$1,000. It is available for people whose residential homes received either a red or yellow sticker, or for those who were required to evacuate their homes for seven days or longer following the 14 November earthquakes.