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Derby businesswoman Natalie Bamford shortlisted for national award

Derby businesswoman Natalie Bamford shortlisted for national award

A DERBY businesswoman has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award after setting up a personalised gift company when the coronavirus pandemic was at its peak.


Natalie Bamford, from Spondon, set up Colleague Box with husband Adam last May and, in just five months, the fledgling business had turned over £1m and the pair had moved into their first commercial property to cope with demand.

Fast forward 12 months and Colleague Box is about to move into a new home - on the Northedge Business Park, in Derby - is closing in on the sale of its 100,000th box and Natalie has been shortlisted for a prestigious WeAreTheCity Rising Star award.

More than 1,000 nominations from across the UK and Northern Ireland were received with organisers shortlisting 200 businesswomen from across 20 different industries and professions.

Natalie said:

“I am honoured to be included on the shortlist for the WeAreThe City Rising Star awards alongside some fabulous businesswomen.

“Although I’m the one who has been shortlisted for this award, I am extremely grateful for the help and support I have received from family and friends, especially my husband, Adam, the rest of the Colleague Box team and the fellow small businesses which we have worked with to make Colleague Box such a success.

“It really has been the most incredible roller coaster of a year and, 12 months on, Colleague Box is constantly evolving and we are excited for the future of our business.”

There are now more than 40 different Colleague Boxes available to purchase on their website which are suitable for all occasions, from virtual quiz nights to awards ceremonies.

Keen sports fans, Natalie and Adam have sponsored Derbyshire County Cricket Club’s Billy Stanlake for the forthcoming season and recently became one of almost 87,000 UK food businesses to sign up to Too Good To Go; an app which lets companies sell surplus stock straight to consumers to help reduce waste.

“We’re very keen to do our bit in the fight against food waste and we want to help protect the planet for our children, Lola and Poppy, and future generations,” said Natalie.

“As well as donating surplus stock via the Too Good To Go app, we will continue to make food donations to local charities; we’ve given to Derby City Mission, Doorways, Safe and Sound and Macmillan nurses in the past.

“Too much food is thrown away by households and also supermarkets, cafes and businesses around the world.

“Too Good To Go is a fantastic idea. Their app connects users with businesses who have delicious but surplus food which is still good enough to enjoy. Users get a bargain and less food goes to landfill, so everyone benefits.”

The WeAreTheCity Rising Star shortlist also includes Alice Hendy, founder of R:pple Suicide Prevention; a charity set up after the tragic death of her brother, Josh, in 2020 and Asha Mohammed; an award-winning second year junior doctor and activist.

Public voting for the awards runs from April 20 to April 30 and winners will be announced at a later date. You can submit your vote here: 2021 Vote - WeAreTheCity Rising Star Awards (

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