Promoting, protecting and advocating for the Healthy Start scheme in the UK

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Welcome to our blog


The main contributer to the blog is Georgia Machell. Much of the blog content stems from research conducted as part of a PhD thesis that Georgia completed at the Centre for Food Policy, City University London entitled Food Welfare for Low-income Women and Children in the UK: A Policy Analysis of the Healthy Start Scheme. We welcome comments and feedback and hope that you’ll find the blog interesting and useful.

By Georgia Machell, Jan 28 2015 03:58PM

Our aim is simple: to give Healthy Start a voice outside of government and to ensure that all those organisations and individuals who believe in a welfare food scheme for vulnerable women and young children can be alert to any political change which may impact on it.

We want to ensure that the Healthy Start scheme gets the support it needs to expand what it does, and to be effective in supporting families around good nutrition. Maternal, infant and early years’ nutrition is fundamental to reducing inequalities in health and life chances and in ensuring all children can reach their full potential. Healthy Start is the only form of benefit that ring-fences money for families to spend specifically on food, but despite a rising birth rate and recent austerity, Healthy Start is costing Government about 30% less than in 2006.

Over the next few months we want to grow our supporter base and make sure that all organisations and interested individuals that work on issues associated with poverty, pregnancy, early years and nutrition have the opportunity to join the Healthy Start Alliance. Being an Alliance member requires no financial or time commitment: it simply means that you or your organisation support the idea of a welfare food scheme in the UK. A list of current members can be found here. We plan on sending our Manifesto (which can be found here) to all political parties ahead of the general election while keeping a close eye on the policy that underpins Healthy Start.

As for the blog, we hope to share interesting, important and thought provoking content about Healthy Start on a regular basis. If there are issues or topics that you think would be useful for us to cover, then please get in touch – we’d love to hear from you! Thanks for reading.

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