A kind-hearted plumber has spent $77,000 during the pandemic helping thousands of vulnerable families fix their heating and plumbing for free.
In 2017, James Anderson was called to a home for a second opinion and caught a heating company who’d attempted to con an elderly and disabled man out of £5,500.
Disgusted and disheartened by this, he founded Depher (Disabled and Elderly Plumbing and Heating Emergency Response) and has since helped more than 10,000 families.
The 53 year-old pledged to help disabled and elderly people with their plumbing and heating “whatever the cost”.
But he has since branched out during the pandemic to provide food parcels, PPE, and even paying bills for people.
A father of six children, Anderson says he’s spent £57,000 during the pandemic alone—but added it was “worth every penny” if it kept people alive and warm.
“If you’ve got disabilities, issues, sometimes these things can become too difficult to overcome and we want to make sure they’re taken care of,” said the tradesman from Burnley, Lancashire.
“We’ve all got a social responsibility to each other – we need to be there for each other.”
James currently works with plumbers based in Lancashire, Manchester, Leeds, Nottingham, and parts of Scotland, and hopes to eventually cover the whole of the UK— and has a GoFundMe page to accept donations. He says “The reaction from people has been so humbling and emotional for me.”
Between Christmas Day and New Year alone he and a local team of three volunteers, three apprentices, and four engineers took on 93 jobs for free.
“I work seven days a week, 70 hours a week. I haven’t taken a single day off. I’ll have enough rest when I’m dead.