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Case Study: Celebrating Grassroots Football Heroes with Colleague Box

Updated: May 22

The Derbyshire FA, dedicated to fostering grassroots football and community engagement, sought to honour unsung heroes making significant contributions to their local football clubs and communities.

Client Objective: To acknowledge and reward individuals who demonstrate exceptional dedication and selflessness in supporting their football clubs and communities across Derbyshire.

Solution: Colleague Box, a bespoke gifting expert, collaborated with the Derbyshire FA to create special limited edition "Taste of Derbyshire" gift boxes. Each box contained carefully curated products sourced exclusively from Derbyshire-based businesses, including food, drinks, and other local products.


1. Nomination Process: The community was invited to nominate individuals deserving recognition for their tireless efforts in grassroots football. 2. Selection of Winners: Ten winners were chosen from various parts of Derbyshire based on the nominations received, highlighting the diversity and breadth of contributions within the region. 3. Personalisation: Each gift box was personalised with a heartfelt message explaining who nominated the recipient and the reason for their nomination, ensuring a meaningful and emotional connection. 4. Exclusive Contents: The contents of the gift boxes were meticulously selected to showcase the best of Derbyshire, featuring artisanal foods, beverages, and products reflective of the region's rich culture and heritage.


1. Gratitude and Recognition: Recipients were deeply touched by the thoughtful gesture, feeling valued and appreciated for their hard work and dedication. 2. Community Engagement: The initiative fostered a sense of camaraderie and community spirit, bringing together football enthusiasts and local businesses to celebrate the unsung heroes of grassroots football. 3. Support for Local Businesses: By exclusively featuring products from Derbyshire-based businesses, the initiative helped promote and support the local economy, showcasing the region's unique offerings. 4. Positive Publicity: The initiative garnered positive attention and publicity for both the Derbyshire FA and Colleague Box, showcasing their commitment to recognising and honouring individuals who make a difference in their communities.

Conclusion: Through the collaboration with Colleague Box, the Derbyshire FA successfully celebrated the invaluable contributions of grassroots football heroes, highlighting their selflessness and dedication while promoting community engagement and supporting local businesses. The "Taste of Derbyshire" gift boxes served as a tangible token of appreciation, symbolizing the profound impact these individuals have on their communities and the enduring spirit of grassroots football in Derbyshire.

Here's What Derbyshire FA Say:

“The Unsung Hero campaign is something we’re extremely proud of at Derbyshire FA, and we couldn’t have accomplished our vision without the wholehearted cooperation and boundless enthusiasm of the remarkable individuals at Colleague Box.


Within grassroots football in Derbyshire resides thousands of volunteers, selflessly dedicating their evenings and weekends to the beautiful game and the betterment of their community. Amidst their tireless efforts, many of these individuals remain unseen, their contributions unacknowledged. Our Unsung Hero campaign aimed to address this, and its impact has been profound.


From a stalwart Youth Coach, whose unwavering dedication spans 45 years of service to the same club, to a vigilant Club Welfare Officer tirelessly championing a safe and inclusive environment for players, to a dynamic duo who, through their community football club, have revitalised a small corner of Derby City. Our campaign has cast a spotlight on an array of grassroots heroes, each greatly deserving of recognition.”

Tom Crabtree,

Derbyshire FA Marketing & Communications Officer



Ilkeston Town secretary Mark Frost presented with the box at Derbyshire FA’s Grassroots Football Awards Evening 2023

Chesterfield Sunday League club liaison officer Anne Nowak presented with the award during Chesterfield’s 2-0 win against Oxford City

Alfreton Town volunteer Jeff Clarke presented with the box during Alfreton’s 2-0 FA Cup victory against Worthing

Gresley Rovers secretary Ian Collins presented with the box during Gresley’s 1-0 Derbyshire Senior Cup victory against Ilkeston Town

Stockbrook Colts duo Kenny Sharpe and Kelly Milward presented with the giftbox during a training session at Stockbrook Park, Derby

Inside an Unsung Hero gift box

Duffield Dynamo club welfare officer Kate Mercer presented with the gift box at Derbyshire FA’s club consultation event. 


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