Background - The NHS Health Check Programme was launched in England in 2009, offering a vascular risk assessment to people aged 40–74 years without established disease. Socio-economic deprivation is associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease and lower uptake of screening. We evaluated the potential impact of a community-based health check service that sought to address health inequalities through the involvement of lay health trainers. Methods - Key stakeholder discussions (n = 20), secondary analysis of client monitoring data (n = 774) and patient experience questionnaires (n = 181). Results - The health check programme was perceived as an effective way of engaging people in conversations about their health. More than half (57.6%) of clients were aged under 50 years and a similar proportion (60.5%) were from socio-economically deprived areas. Only 32.7% from the least affluent areas completed a full health check in comparison with 44.4% from more affluent areas. Eligible men were more likely than eligible women to complete a health check (59.4 versus 33.8%). Conclusions - A community-based, health trainer-led approach may add value by offering an acceptable alternative to health checks delivered in primary care settings. The service appeared to be particularly successful in engaging men and younger age groups. However, there exists the potential for intervention-generated inequalities.