When a campylobacter infection was confirmed, many people in the area were at home sick and in need of support.

More than fifty Red Cross volunteers from nine teams across New Zealand travelled to Havelock North, assisting with community outreach activities.

Volunteers visited 910 households in the region and called 790 people in the community who were most at risk, including those who are elderly and people who live alone.

An information hub was set up in the township. Red Cross teams distributed infant nappies, toilet paper and bottled water to locals. Twenty-two early childhood centres also received bottled water, hand sanitiser and soap.

Red Cross volunteers are trained in psychological first aid, and were able to help sick people and their families deal with the emotional impacts and uncertainties of being ill. Students at three high schools were among those affected. Red Cross provided hygiene advice and psychosocial support for students and school staff.

Havelock North resident Michelle received a visit from Red Cross.

"The volunteers gave me information but also the feeling of comfort knowing people are out there, as I'm one of the unlucky ones to have the bug," she says.

Download Red Cross' Havelock North Response infographic

Red Cross Havelock North response (PDF)