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Helping local people stay fit and healthy

Pregnant woman and new born children will have access to free vitamins to help give their child the best start in life under newly-unveiled Council pledges.

Waltham Forest Council’s public health team has this month unveiled six major pledges reflecting the local authority’s commitment to help families, children and young people, adults and vulnerable residents – with the overall aim of improving health and reducing health inequalities across the generations.

The six pledges cover different public health support services. In 2015, the Council will ensure:

  • Every pregnant woman and new born child has access to a free bottle of Healthy Start Vitamins to give their child the best start in life

  • Every school and college has a named school nurse, providing regular drop in sessions and health checks in reception, year 6 and to those in their mid-teens

  • Families can access new local services to help them achieve and maintain a healthy weight, such as free swimming lessons for eligible children, and exercise classes available on referral for adults

  • Free contraception and sexual health advice is accessible to those who need it

  • People with drug or alcohol problems get the support they need to make a healthy recovery

  • Residents aged 40-74 are invited to a free health check every five years, which is designed to help prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease and certain types of dementia

Cllr Ahsan Khan, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Helping residents stay fit and healthy is a top priority for us, and these pledges reflect our aim to make sure that everyone living in the borough is well looked after.

“But they are just the tip of the iceberg, because the Council’s public health team is behind a wide variety of different initiatives and services that residents are already benefitting from – and more are planned in the months ahead.

“This year, we’re determined to build upon our efforts to improve health outcomes across Waltham Forest so that the borough becomes healthier and happier than ever before.”

Alongside the launch of the public health pledges, the Council will continue to highlight healthy-living initiatives that residents looking to lead a healthier lifestyle could consider signing up to, such as Smokefree Waltham Forest.

For those residents who have made a New Year’s resolution to quit smoking, Smokefree Waltham Forest is your local stop smoking service – offering free support that’s proven to be effective. Research shows you are up to four times more likely to quit using their services than if you try using willpower alone. 

Its services are tailored to your needs, and are suitable for all smokers including expectant mothers and people on regular medication. Contact your local stop smoking service on 0800 032 0102.

Alternatively, this week is Obesity Awareness Week – a campaign aiming to improve the nation’s health.

Whether it’s cooking more healthily, avoiding snacks, or being a little more physically active, anyone can take part. Visit

To speak to a member of the Council’s public health team, call 020 8496 3000. Or, to find out more about public health services in Waltham Forest, visit

If you would like more information about any of these press releases or have a different media enquiry please contact us at or on 020 8496 4521 / 4802.

For out of hours please email or call 07966 915 157.