Free Vitamins Now Available in Bexley
Eligible families and pregnant mums in Bexley can now collect free Healthy Start vitamins from their local health visitor and from Queen Mary’s Hospital Midwifery Service.
The Council has been working to boost uptake of the Government’s Healthy Start scheme – which, as well as free vitamins, provides free vouchers for eligible families to buy fruit, vegetables and milk to help kick start healthy eating habits.
Until now Healthy Start vitamins have not been available in Bexley, but the Council’s Public Health team has been working with Bexley’s Health Visiting service and the Queen Mary’s to make these available.
Dr Anjan Ghosh, Bexley’s Director of Public Health said: “Vitamins are essential nutrients for our body and are needed more so during pregnancy and early childhood to support healthy growth and development. We want to make sure that our residents not only know what they’re entitled to, but also make sure these schemes are accessible throughout the borough.”
Those who meet Healthy Start’s eligibility criteria can receive green coupons which can be redeemed for Healthy Start vitamins. These vitamins include women’s vitamin tablets containing folic acid, vitamin C and D and children’s vitamin drops containing vitamins A, C and D.
Councillor Alex Sawyer, Cabinet Member for Communities said: “This is one step in the right direction for our wider ongoing commitment to supporting families to maintain a healthy lifestyle. We will be continuing to work with partners to keep spreading the message and to make sure more of our residents take advantage of this currently underused Government scheme.”
To qualify for Healthy Start you must be at least 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under four years old and you or your family must get either Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Child Tax Credit (with a family income of £16,190 or less per year) or Universal Credit (with a family take home pay of £408 or less per month).
You also qualify if you are under 18 and pregnant, even if you don’t get any benefits.
To find out more visit www.healthystart.nhs.uk