Entrepreneur Spotlight Interview: Luitgard Holzleg MD of Healthy and Safe Away From Home

Here is another entrepreneur spotlight blog post – this time with Luitgard Holzleg MD of Healthy and Safe Away From Home.  Lui was also part of the recent Health and Safety Day and took part in a photography shoot for the website.

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Tell me a little about you and your business 

My business is called HEALTHY AND SAFE AWAY FROM HOME and is a first aid, CPR and AED training provider offering internationally accredited courses. I also offer health awareness programmes including CPR Awareness, Heart Attack & Stroke Awareness and Stress Management. As a medical doctor, I have worked in emergency rooms and was able to experience first hand the difference a lay-person can make in a casualty’s chance to survive. But it was not until many years later, when I was a mother of three young children and when other mothers asked me to help them be better prepared for emergencies with their children, I realised how lucky I was to have this knowledge and to share it.  If someone would have asked me years ago before I started HEALTHY AND SAFE AWAY FROM HOME, I don’t think I would have dreamed of running my own business or becoming a first aid instructor but it turned out to be the perfect job for me.

What types of customers do you have? 

My customers can be split into three groups.  One group is individuals who seek to be certified in first aid or CPR.  The second group are international and bilingual childcare organisations and schools, who want to have their teachers, administrators and sometimes students trained.  The third group are corporations and organisations who understand the importance of health and first aid training for their employees. There is so much information about health available on the internet but it is not the same as if there is an actual person, and a professional one in front of you, being able to answer your questions about your health. Good health is the base to our happiness and well-being and I feel lucky and privileged to help others to learn more about it and to understand it better.

What do you like most about what you do? 

There is really not anything I don’t like in what I do. What I enjoy the most though is the actual teaching part, being able to help someone without a medical background understand basic but important concepts of first aid or even life saving, so that they gain the expertise and the confidence that they CAN do it. Everyone can!

What has been your proudest moment since you began your business?

My proudest moment is when a participant from one of my life saving skills courses sent me a thank you card for having taught him how to recognise choking and how to react – it meant he was able to save a colleague’s life. It’s moments like these when I am happiest, and I know I am doing the right thing.

Where is home?

I’ve been a person “not living in their home culture” several times over now and with my family that is now well over 15 years (I don’t like the term expat very much).  No matter where I lived and where we settled, THAT was my home. It’s not about forgetting your own culture and your “original” home but it’s about feeling “at home” regardless of where that may be in the world. I don’t believe that being an expat is about living in a happier, healthier or more affordable place, but it’s about living in a new place and learning to embrace it. It’s not always easy, and one might not always happy but that’s life.

What’s your favourite quote?

Life is good or “Do what you like, like what you do!”

Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

I love travelling and when travelling I love trying out food the most. Wherever I travel to, I come back with new ideas and recipes (or even a new cookbook, it’s the best souvenir you can bring home!) You can experience a country and a culture through its food. So if I had a choice, I would invite Yotam Ottolenghi to my home. I would do all the grocery shopping and then invite him to prepare our dinner together.  Middle Eastern food is healthy, incredible varied, exciting and is about being together with friends and family. That’s the best way to spend an evening.

Find out more about Healthy and Safe Away From Home here.

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