A plumber has melted hearts with the admission that he fixes the pipes and boilers of vulnerable customers for free.
James Anderson, 52, closed his private business and relaunched his not-for profit company, Depher, which has enabled him to help thousands of people in need. His generosity was revealed when he posted a bill online that showed he had not charged a 91 year old woman who suffers from leukaemia.
The Burnley-based plumber wrote: “No charge for this lady under any circumstances. We will be available 24 hours to help her and keep her as comfortable as possible.”
Addressing the positive public reaction his acts have attracted, he said: “We didn’t expect it. It’s been everywhere." James raises all the money to help his customers throughout Lancashire by crowdfunding and donations.
The father of five has said he was inspired to do this amazing work because he had seen an elderly man poorly treated by another engineer and he was compelled to help.
Depher was started in 2017 and has provided countless free or lower cost plumbing solutions for people in need throughout the winter. Although James is helping others, he claims the switch to not-for-profit work has seen him fall in to over £8,000 worth of debt, but he insists that it is still under control.
"A lot of people close to me ask 'why are you getting yourself in to debt? Why are you doing this?' To me, debt is debt… I would rather owe some money to somebody and another person be alive and happy and safe.
"It’s an ethos that’s in my heart and it will always stay there."
Having managed to help many locals in Lancashire over the previous winters, James is now intending to expand the area which Depher works in and eventually take the charitable company countrywide.
He said: "I’ve spoken to quite a few engineers around the country and they’re all for it… it’s just getting the funding. I don’t want any person who is elderly and disabled in this country, in this day and age, to die or suffer because of a cold home or a lack of funding to repair the boiler.
“It shouldn’t be happening – that number should be down to zero. Simple as that.”
Considering that last year it was reported that more than 3,000 people are needlessly dying each year in the UK because they do not have the cash to properly heat their homes, James’ work with Depher seems utterly vital.
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