Young athletes representing Team England at the Commonwealth Youth Games have been presented with a commemorative bracelet supplied by Derbyshire firm Letterbox Love.
Letterbox Love, launched by husband-and-wife team Liam and Kerry Bilson during lockdown, designs and sells affordable jewellery combined with gift cards imprinted with touching poems and messages.
The firm was approached by Team England to produce 150 limited edition bracelet gifts for the English contingent at this year’s Commonwealth Youth Games in Trinidad and Tobago, which takes place from August 4 - 11.
Each of the 57-strong team plus support staff representing their country in athletics and para athletics, swimming, beach volleyball and FAST5 netball, have been presented with the Letterbox Love keepsakes at Team England’s two welcoming ceremonies.
The Commonwealth Youth Games is open to participants aged between 14 and 18, depending on the sporting discipline, and has previously been attended by the likes of Jessica Ennis-Hill and Dina Asher-Smith.
Letterbox Love was contacted by Team England to supply the special gifts after impressing organisers with a similar commission for Team England at the senior Commonwealth Games in Birmingham last year.
Kerry said: “It is just amazing to have been asked again to create something special for Team England. And the fact that they are using a Derbyshire company that has been going for only three years makes us feel so proud."
“We received so many brilliant messages of thanks last year when our bracelet gifts were presented to athletes at the Commonwealth Games. But it was still a very pleasant surprise when the team’s ‘kitting-out coordinator’ for this year’s youth games in Trinidad and Tobago approached us.”
Kerry said that she and Liam were “hopefully” looking forward to a long-lasting partnership with Team England. Letterbox Love has also supplied commemorative gifts for England players in the Rugby League World Cup last year.
“It’s such a huge thing for us,” said Kerry. “We’ve built up a really good working relationship with Team England. They’ve been fantastic to work with and, hopefully, we’ll be working with them on future events.”
The bracelets presented to the nation’s stars of the future in Trinidad and Tobago are engraved with the words “Part of the Pride”, referring to a pride of lions. They are attached to a card emblazoned with the Team England ‘lion’ branding and a message reading: “There’s an entire chain of people connected to me and my success. They’re the memories across my heart like the lion upon my chest”. The bracelet and card were presented in a bright red, velvet pouch decorated with the Team England logo.
Frankie Carter-Kelly, Team England’s Chef de Mission for the Commonwealth Youth Games, said: It’s been really special to gift the bracelets to our athletes to formally welcome them to the ‘pride’ and connect us across both islands of Trinidad and Tobago. The team will be wearing them proudly at the games and we’ve been looking forward to seeing them perform.”
Letterbox Love was launched from the Bilsons’ family lounge in Horsley Woodhouse in 2020 and has grown from strength to strength.
The firm has created scores of different gift designs, from pet bereavement bracelets mounted on plantable seeded cards to a ‘Mum To Be’ bracelet and ‘Thank you’ Bracelet. With the addition of Kerry’s poems and messages, each gift is designed to spread love and positivity.
Kerry and Liam were joint winners of the ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ award at the 10th Great British Entrepreneur Awards last year.