A growing number of chemists across Sussex are training to become healthy living pharmacies.

These provide a comprehensive range of services, including help to stop smoking, advice about exercise and diet and medicine reviews.

They also give information about other health services, free emergency contraception and support and lifestyle advice.

Staff at 19 pharmacies in Brighton and Hove and East Sussex were trained to be healthy living champions after the scheme was first launched last year.

Their achievements were celebrated at an event in Lewes with the presentation of certificates by Craig McEwan, chairman of the local pharmaceutical committee.

Two special awards were also presented with the first going to Carl Patterson from the Boots branch in North Street, Brighton, for being the highest achieving healthy living champion.

The team at Superdrug in Western Road, Brighton, was honoured for helping the most people to stop smoking.

Applications to join the second wave of the scheme will be assessed by the organisers and training is expected to start in February.

Xavier Nalletamy, the chairman of the Brighton and Hove clinical commissioning group, said: “Pharmacists and their staff involved in the healthy living pharmacy initiative are based in local communities and are helping local people make real lifestyle changes to improve their health and wellbeing.”