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NHS lights touchpaper for Health on the High Street

Len Glenville
Chair, National Association of Health Stores

It looks like 2022 is going to be yet another year of uncertainty, of ups and downs and frustration, and you could be forgiven for wondering when this is all going to end!

But there is a fair bit of light on the horizon!

In August a meeting took place between leaders from NHS, local government, community businesses and a range of invited experts to discuss the health challenges facing towns and cities and the opportunities to re-think the critical role the health sector can play as communities look to recover economically and socially from Covid-19, and how health might be embedded at the heart of our High Streets to assist this.

We are absolutely delighted to report that after years of lobbying and meetings, the newly published NHS Confederation’s ‘Health on the High Street’ report finally and officially recognises health food stores as legitimate partners to help promote health to local communities.

They have finally realised that a healthy population is likely to reduce the demand for core NHS and local council services and that allowing people to consider their own health needs through education and support at a local level will make it more likely that they would reconsider unhealthy choices.

The report concludes that locating various health facilities next to a local health food store on the High Street will provide greater opportunity to make the connection between poor health and lifestyle.

We are currently liaising with the NHS Confederation to discuss partnering with them on this project and will do everything in our power to promote the interests of independent health food stores to both the NHS and local communities.

Ever since COP26 in Glasgow there has been heightened interest in all things sustainable and although independent health food stores have long been at the forefront of promoting eco products, it is only now that the majority of the public is actively looking at businesses to prove their eco credentials.

A prime example – NAHS committee member Justina Pettifer of The Healthy Life Co in Devizes has just been awarded Sustainability Certification which demonstrates a firm, authentic and effective commitment to sustainability covering such topics as emissions, geographic limit of supply chains, energy supply, distribution, and materials you use.

Your NAHS is currently negotiating a discount with the company behind sustainability certification to enable our members to access this valuable asset.

Have you seen the excellent benefits our members can access through NAHS membership? Sign up for as little as £21 per month by monthly direct debit or annually via the ‘Sign Up’ button on our website,

To join the NAHS, contact Avril McCracken on 01875 341408 or email [email protected]

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