Free vitamins now available for eligible families in Bexley
PUBLISHED: 07:00 30 July 2019 | UPDATED: 15:52 30 July 2019
Families in Bexley could be eligible for free vitamins, the council said.
Those eligible families and pregnant mums can collect free Healthy Start vitamins from their local health visitor and from Queen Mary's Hospital Midwifery Service.
The authority said it has been working to boost uptake of the scheme.
As well as free vitamins, it can also provide free vouchers for eligible families to buy fruit, vegetables and milk to help kickstart healthy eating habits.
Until now Healthy Start vitamins have not been available in the borough, but Bexley Council's public health team has been working with the health visiting service and 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.
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"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. They 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 ensure more of our residents take advantage."
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