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Posted: Fri 12th Feb 2021

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

A new project to support families access free vitamins in Flintshire is set to launch this week.

Healthy Start is a national scheme offering eligible families vitamin supplements. Pregnant women, babies and children under four years old are offered the vitamins that contain vital nutrients like folic acid and vitamin D.

Public Health Dietitian Andrea Basu, from Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said: “The Healthy Start women’s tablets give the right amount of folic acid and vitamin D to support a healthy pregnancy, and the vitamin drops for babies and children contain a vital dose of vitamin D to help build and protect their future bone health.”

Andrea explains that vitamin D is especially important to take as a supplement because most daily diets do not provide enough.

She said: “We get most of the vitamin D we need through exposure to sunlight, but in the winter months, and of course during the current lockdown period we are spending much more time indoors.”

“The only way we can be sure to get enough vitamin D is to take a supplement, and Healthy Start can help young families to achieve this.”

“Most people hear about the scheme through their Midwife or Health Visitor, but we know the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted on the ability of families to access the vitamins.”

Morrisons Pharmacies in Saltney and Connahs Quay will stock the vitamins.

Andrea added: “Pharmacies are ideally located in our community and we want to make it as straightforward as possible for families to get the vitamins they need and are entitled to receive. Life is an honest struggle for many of us right now, particularly young families, and Healthy Start could provide a welcome support.”

For families already signed up to Healthy Start they need to take their green voucher into any of the following pharmacies to collect their vitamins.

Families will receive a new voucher by post every eight weeks which they can take back to the pharmacy.

This means women can continue to take the vitamins throughout pregnancy and provide them for their children during the preschool years when they are most vulnerable.

For more information visit www.healthystart.nhs.uk.

The scheme also provides weekly food vouchers that can be used for items such as milk, fresh, frozen, and tinned fruit and vegetables, fresh, dried, and tinned pulses.

An application can be downloaded from the website, printed and posted using the free-post address.

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