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Carers, key workers and 90-year-old who is ‘missing her art classes’ are among first recipients of Derby letterbox gift company’s Hero Box initiative

Carers, key workers and 90-year-old who is ‘missing her art classes’ are among first recipients of Derby letterbox gift company’s Hero Box initiative

A 90-year-old with a love of art, a fundraiser who has raised thousands of pounds for the British Heart Foundation and a woman who ‘always puts so much thought into caring for other people’ are among the first recipients of an initiative created by a Derby gift company, to reward the UK’s lockdown heroes.


Colleague Box, the business set up by husband-and-wife Adam and Natalie Bamford when the Coronavirus outbreak was at its peak, launched the ‘Hero Box’ scheme to help spread a little cheer.

Every month, Colleague Box will choose 10 worthy heroes nominated by friends and family to receive one of their personalised boxes, thanking them for their efforts.

Among the first to receive a Hero Box – which each contain chocolates and sweets, a premium hot chocolate sachet, votive Yankee Candle, gourmet popcorn, bath bomb – supplied by fellow Derbyshire small business, Divine Box – and a few surprises – was 90-year-old Eve Bunyan.

She was nominated by daughter Bev Crighton, who said:

“My mum is nearly 90 and lives 150 miles away from me. I nominated her because she has been amazing, so inspiring during lockdown, and has never moaned once about having to give up the activities which she enjoys doing so much, such as bridge and painting.

“It has been so hard to try and look after her during the past 12 months and mum must get lonely – but she never moans.

“I always say that, if anyone compares me to my mum and says that I’m like her, it is the biggest compliment you could give me.”

Gary Burr was nominated by friend Glen Merryweather for his “amazing commitment” to raising vital funds for the British Heart Foundation while Katie Wells, Business Development Executive for Marketing Derby, nominated her mum, Jane.

Katie said:

“Mum has been caring for my dad for the past couple of years, since he was diagnosed with Parkinsons and subsequently Multiple System Atrophy (MSA); a rare condition of the nervous system that causes gradual damage to nerve cells in the brain. It affects less than 20,000 people in the UK.

“Mum can’t leave Dad alone for too long in case his blood pressure drops of spikes and he falls or faints. Lockdown has been difficult and mum always tries her best, whatever the situation.

“She puts so much thought into caring for other people, and the Hero Box is a lovely way to show that people care about her too.”

Natalie Bamford, Creative Director of Colleague Box, says that she has been overwhelmed with the nominations for the Hero Box.

“It has been quite emotional reading all of the nominations for people doing such a great job out there during a difficult time,” she said.

“We’ve had nominations for teachers, NHS staff, keyworkers and people like Eve, Gary and Jane, who are very deserving of a treat from Colleague Box thanking them for their efforts.

“There are a lot of very worthy people doing wonderful things out there and, hopefully, this will show them just how much they are appreciated.”

As well as launching the Hero Box for 2021, Colleague Box had brought out a several new additions including the Self-Care Box, Cookie Dough Delights Box and seasonal specials such as the Treat Box Easter Edition and one for Mother’s Day, too.

Natalie added:

“Letterbox presents have been hugely popular over the past 12 months for those wanting to send a gift to family and friends whilst social distancing.

“Our order books for 2021 are already filling up and we’re excited to see what the rest of the year brings for Colleague Box.”

Colleague Box offer free UK shipping, and personalisation is also included with each gift box. 

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.

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