Once homeless Derventio Housing Trust residents given a helping hand into their own properties

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Residents of Derventio Housing Trust are being given specially created 'Home sweet home' boxes when they are ready to move on into their own properties.

Residents of Derventio Housing Trust across the UK are being given a helping hand into their new homes in collaboration with a warm-hearted Derby business.

The housing trust, which is currently providing accommodation to more than 700 people across the UK who might otherwise be homeless, has once again teamed up with award-winning business Colleague Box.

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The new venture will see Derventio Housing Trust residents provided with a welcoming ‘starter pack’ including vital household items such as a mug and supplies to make a hot drink, cloths, and washing up liquid when they move on into their own private properties.

Natalie Bamford and Penny Wiltshire at Colleague BoxNatalie Bamford and Penny Wiltshire at Colleague Box
Natalie Bamford and Penny Wiltshire at Colleague Box

Colleague Box, a corporate gifting company founded and run by husband and wife team Natalie and Adam Bamford, has created hundreds of the ‘Home Sweet Home’ boxes to help former Derventio Housing Trust residents settle into their new homes.

The boxes are packed full of items designed to help ease the transition into a privately paid for home, including a keychain and torch; pen; multi-function tool; bodywash; tea bags, coffee, milk and sugar, and laundry tablets. The boxes even include a card with a personal message from staff who have worked with and supported the resident.

This is the second time the housing trust has worked with Colleague Box for the benefit of its residents. In 2023, Colleague Box was asked by Derventio to create special festive hampers to give residents some cheer at Christmas time, when many are unable to see friends or family and may not receive any cards or presents.

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Derventio Housing Trust operates in five counties in the UK: Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Wiltshire.

Penny Wiltshire, funding and development manager for Derventio Housing Trust, said: “We are very happy to be working once again with Colleague Box which has created these lovely Home Sweet Home boxes for residents who are leaving to set up in their own properties.

“At Derventio we not only provide accommodation to people who have been through some incredibly tough times, we also give a lot of support to residents to help them overcome obstacles such as alcohol and drug use, and issues with mental health.

“For a resident to move on into their own private property is a huge deal for them, representing that they have been able to dig deep and overcome factors in their lives which led to the situation they were in. We offer dedicated help through housing and support workers who are there to help residents with their lives.

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“But as everyone knows, when you move house, things can feel very strange and new for a while, when you have to start from scratch. Items such as tea bags and a tin opener may seem small, but they are exactly what is needed when you are in a new home and residents moving on from Derventio Housing Trust are often working very hard to make ends meet. That’s why these Home Sweet Home boxes are so brilliant, as they will just help ease those hard first few days for people who have already been through so much. We really appreciate how Colleague Box has worked with us to create these wonderful boxes that will really help people feel at home.”

Natalie Bamford, director of Colleague Box, who has even composed a heartfelt poem inscribed on the back of each Home Sweet Home box, said: “Giving back to the community and social responsibility are so important to us at Colleague Box. We just want to spread happiness with our work and we were so honoured that Derventio Housing Trust approached us to work with them again to providing these boxes for residents moving into their own properties. We hope that they help make people feel at home!”

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