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Inspirational Women Q&A: Kila Redfearn, Blue Skies Hospital Fund

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Kila Redfearn works for Blue Skies, a charity based at Blackpool Victoria Hospital dedicated to enhancing patient care for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

In September 2022, Kila was awarded Charity of the Year at the Enterprise Vision Awards, which recognises women in business across the North West. Kila shares her own inspirational Lancashire woman in business story.

What does your business do?

As the charity for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals, Blue Skies Hospital Fund supports the best in patient care for the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre. Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is a vital element of the community on the Fylde Coast, and regionally, thanks to the work of the Lancashire Cardiac Centre and Haematology Unit.

Why did you choose to work in the charity sector?

After my daughter was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma at the age of 20, I saw first-hand the amazing treatment she received at the Haematology department at Blackpool Victoria Hospital. I experienced what great work hospital charities do, so when the job came available, I knew I had to take it. Three years ago my husband was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and again received amazing treatment at the same hospital.

Through my own experiences, my passion and dream is to make Blackpool Teaching Hospitals world class in patient care. Both my daughter and husband are now doing very well, so both had a Disney ending.

What has been your biggest business breakthrough?

Setting up the charity office in the main entrance at Blackpool Victoria Hospital. When I took on the job in 2017, the charity office was tucked away at the back of the hospital with no footfall and where no one could find it, so my first and biggest job was to ensure we were placed in the main entrance, which we moved into in December 2019.

What has been your proudest achievement in your business?

The purchasing of the world’s smallest heart pump. Impella ECP measures just three millimeters in diameter upon insertion and removal from the body. This piece of kit basically keeps you alive during particular types of heart surgery, which otherwise wouldn’t be possible.

What is the most effective support or guidance you have received?

Don’t be too hard on yourself, you are but human. There is only so much you can do, there are only 24 hours in a day.

What keeps you going when things are tough?

My husband, he is genuinely my biggest cheerleader and is there for me 24/7. I don’t know what I would do without him, he is always there to give me guidance and make me think straight. I also have a great network of women, who again I can always count on for making me feel better.

What are your best three tips for maintaining your wellbeing?

Do what makes you feel nice. That could be going for a walk, socialising with friends, listening to some music, putting on your make-up or having your hair done - its different for everyone.

What advice would you give to a female entrepreneur starting a business?

Don’t worry about the knocks or the mistakes, they only make you more confident and stronger in the end. If you ever feel like you have imposter syndrome, don’t worry, most of us do. www.bfwh.nhs.uk/blueskies

 

Would you like to see your business grow? So would we. To speak to someone from the Growth Hub about business support, contact Boost online or call 0800 488 0057.

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