In Cambridge, 1 in 5 children live in poverty.


Despite this, 41% of eligible families are missing out on their Healthy Start vouchers in the city.

The Food Poverty report, published in October 2018, showed that only 371 of 631 eligible beneficiaries were claiming vouchers. This means that only 3 out of every 5 people in Cambridge are receiving vouchers they are entitled to, which have a value of over £900 per child!

Since July 2018, we have been working with various groups and organisations in Cambridge to try and increase uptake of Healthy Start in the city. We have done this in two ways:

  1. We are working with health professionals (including health visitors and midwives) and community centres to make sure all women who are pregnant or have young children know about Healthy Start, and are signed up straight away if they are eligible.
  2. We are working with retailers, to make sure as many shops as possible accept Healthy Start vouchers and advertise to customers that these can be used in store to make purchases.


Healthy Start forms an important part of our Food Poverty work. We know that for many children in Cambridge, these vouchers are the best way to ensure they receive the best possible start to life.