Healthy Start is a government scheme to improve the health of low-income pregnant women and families on benefits and tax credits.
The link below takes you to the application form. You have to print the form off, fill it in and send it to the address below. Please note the important you don’t need to complete part B (the health professional’s signature) so you can just cross this bit out. Remember to sign the end of section 7.
Your completed form can be sent freepost to:
Healthy Start Issuing Unit
PO Box 1067
The vouchers are available to eligible pregnant women or anyone with a child under 4. Pregnant women and children over 1 and under 4 can get one £3.10 voucher per week. Children under 1 can get two £3.10 vouchers (£6.20) per week.
The vouchers can be spent on:
- plain cow’s milk – whole, semi-skimmed or skimmed (including pasteurised, sterilised, long life or UHT)
- fresh, frozen and tinned fruit and vegetables
- dried and tinned pulses,
- infant formula milk that says it can be used from birth and is based on cow’s milk
Vouchers are accepted at all the large supermarkets – Lidl & Tesco on Acre Lane, Sainsbury’s and Tesco but some smaller shops too – check the local retailers who accept the vouchers here https://www.healthystart.nhs.uk/healthy-start-vouchers/where-to-use-the-vouchers/.
Tesco and Co-op have joined Iceland in offering an extra £1 to the value of the Healthy Start vouchers, meaning they are now worth £4.10 per voucher. Customers will have the money added when they hand their voucher over at the till.
The Tesco deal will finish on 28 February 2021 but the Co-op one will continue indefinitely.
The voucher value is due to be raised to £4.25 in April 2021, so the Co-op deal will bring their value to £5.25. Anyone with a baby under 1 is entitled to two vouchers per week and for children over 1 and pregnant women, it is one voucher per week.
For more information on eligibility and how to apply go to https://www.healthystart.nhs.uk/
Eligibility details are on the website but basically:
Women who are at least 10 weeks pregnant and families with children under four years old qualify for Healthy Start if the family is getting:
- Income Support, or
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, or
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, or
- Child Tax Credit (with a family income of £16,190 or less per year)
- Universal Credit (with a family take home pay of £408 or less per month)
Women and children getting Healthy Start food vouchers also get vitamin coupons to swap for free Healthy Start vitamins which they can use at local pharmacies . They will receive the vitamin vouchers in the post. Healthy Start vitamins are specifically designed for pregnant and breastfeeding women and growing children.
More information about the scheme is at https://www.healthystart.nhs.uk/
There is another scheme for free fruit and vegetables from participating stalls on Brixton market and one stall in Norwood – called the Alexandra Rose voucher scheme – and this is open to any family who is eligible to the healthy start vouchers plus those who have No Recourse to Public Funds (which the HS voucher scheme isn’t available to). Families can ask at their council children’s centre for the vouchers ie this one run by the council.
Eligible families can receive both Healthy Start and Rose vouchers, which can make a significant difference to the access to healthy, free food.