Inspiring Business by Sharing Success

Colleague Box take on 10 new members of staff to cope with "phenomenal" demand in orders in the run up to Christmas

Colleague Box take on 10 new members of staff to cope with "phenomenal" demand in orders in the run up to Christmas

A Letterbox gift company set up in lockdown by a Derby husband-and-wife has thanked the city’s university for help in recruiting 10 new members of staff.

Colleague Box, set up by Adam and Natalie Bamford when the Coronavirus pandemic was at its peak, moved into their first commercial premises – a 3,000 square-foot warehouse at Sawley Park business centre, Derby – last month.

And to help meet the “phenomenal” rise in orders, which has just seen them pack and ship 20,000 pumpkins for a company-wide carving competition, Colleague Box enlisted the help of the University of Derby’s Student Employment Agency to find the right people for the job.

Natalie Bamford said:

“It has been a phenomenal few months for Colleague Box and Adam and I realised quite quickly that we would need help to cope with an increase in demand for our boxes, particularly the 20,000-pumpkin order we received from a global delivery company.

“We spoke to Bev Crighton, Senior Lecturer at the University of Derby, who put us in touch with Davinder Dhadli; SEA officer at the university.

“Davinder handled the full recruitment cycle for us – advertising the vacancy, searching and selecting the right candidates, arranging interviews, completing on-boarding and right to work check and setting up the full payroll service.

“She’s been brilliant and found us 10 perfect recruits who are all very hardworking and as well as being great ambassadors for the University of Derby, are fantastic assets for Colleague Box.”

Nineteen-year-old Tyler Spiers, a Geography student from London, says that he would recommend the Student Employment Agency to his friends.

“The agency have supported me every step of the way and I’d recommend them to fellow students,” he said, “Colleague Box are a great company to work for; the hours are flexible – I can fit work around my studies perfectly – and Natalie and Adam are very hands-on, always available for a chat and very supportive.”

Initially, the students were employed for temporary work but, with an influx of orders for Colleague Box’s range of Christmas and New Year boxes as the UK prepares for a very different festive season under Coronavirus restrictions, there is a possibility that the students will be needed well into the new year.

“Our Christmas boxes, of which £1 goes to Derby-based charity Safe & Sound UK, have been popular,” said Natalie, “while we’re working with Midlands-based company Spicentice, who make meal kits with award-winning rubs - to launch a Cook-Along box that the whole family can get involved with, whether, due to restrictions, that’s virtually or gathered together in the kitchen. We can also see these being popular for businesses looking to do something different as a zoom team building experience.

“We have been so impressed with the students we have from the University of Derby that we’re hoping to be in a position to extend their stay with us. We’d definitely recommend the service to other businesses in Derby and Derbyshire.”

Davinder added:

“We were delighted to help Colleague Box and working with Adam and Natalie has been a great joy. They have proven to offer a very flexible approach to the students’ hours and have communicated very well with the SEA with regards to any changes.

“The people we have at the University of Derby study subjects as varied as business, education, sport, law and events management so there is a broad range of skills available.

“By definition, students and recent graduates also have a passion for learning and self-development; an important attribute in any employee.”

Colleague Box offer free UK shipping, whilst packages can be sent abroad for an additional cost.

Each box is ordered online and for bulk purchases, Colleague Box offer a secure mass upload option. Packaged using sustainable and recyclable materials, the boxes arrive at the door within a few days.

To find out more, visit connect on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.

< Back