Healthy Start is a national scheme aimed at improving the health of pregnant women and families on benefits and tax credits. The vouchers are available to eligible pregnant women or anyone with a child under 4 years old. Pregnant women and children aged one to four receive one £4.25 voucher per week. Babies under one year old will receive £8.50 per week.
Families in receipt of the vouchers will also receive vitamin vouchers.
What can I use the vouchers on?
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 and some smaller local shops
Am I eligible?
Your family must receive any of the following:
- Child Tax Credit (only if your family’s annual income is £16,190 or less)
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Pension Credit (which includes the child addition)
- Universal Credit (only if your family’s take-home pay is £408 or less per month from employment)
You will also be eligible for Healthy Start if:
- you’re under 18 and pregnant, even if you are not claiming any benefits
- you claim income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and are over 10 weeks pregnant
- you or your partner get Working Tax Credit run-on only. (Working Tax Credit run-on is the Working Tax Credit you receive in the 4 weeks immediately after you have stopped working for 16 hours or more per week)
To find out if your family earns £408 or less per month from employment whilst claiming Universal Credit, look at your ‘take-home pay for this period’ on your monthly Universal Credit award notice.
How do I apply?
Complete the application form (in black ink) found here www.healthystart.nhs.uk/how-to-apply
You don’t have to complete part B. If you need help printing the form let us know or ask at your local children’s centre.
Send the completed form to:
Healthy Start Issuing Unit
PO Box 1067
You don’t need a stamp
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 Healthy Start voucher scheme isn’t available to). Families can ask at their local children’s centre for the vouchers. Details on how to register with your local children’s centre can be found here: https://beta.lambeth.gov.uk/children-young-people-families/childrens-centres
Eligible families can receive both Healthy start and Rose vouchers – this can make a big difference to getting healthy and affordable food.