An English plumber who started a social company that has assisted more than two million of the most needy individuals in the UK is being hailed as a modern-day hero.
The community interest firm DEPHER, managed by 54-year-old James Anderson, offers significantly discounted services to individuals who are struggling to keep up with the growing cost of living, which has increased by up to 54 percent since the beginning of April.
There isn’t much that DEPHER, or plumbers for that matter, can’t do. DEPHER stands for Disabled & Elderly Plumbing and Heating Emergency Repairs, and they do everything from paying people’s bills they can’t pay to providing emergency plumbing and heating services, delivering food parcels, and covering funeral expenses.
More than 52,000 families, or almost two million people nationwide, have received assistance from Anderson and his Burnley-based team over the past six years.
We attempt to make individuals aware that there is someone out there who will support them, according to Anderson.
A video of “Britain’s kindestt plumber,” Anderson, a father of six and grandpa of four, went viral early last week.
James wrote, “Today I was asked to help a 78-year-old lady, her card was refused because she only had about 7dollars in her bank, the energy company took about 800 dollars out this morning.”
In addition to paying the elderly woman’s shopping expenses, DEPHER intervened and convinced the energy provider to give her a complete refund.
When Anderson went on a job to a gentleman’s home in his hometown of Burnley, Lancashire, he got the notion to start an all-purpose social venture. After obtaining a price for 6,000 dollars from another business, the client contacted James to check at his boiler.
“This company had tried to scam this guy for thousands of dollars he didn’t have, for work that he certainly did not need,” Anderson states. “This guy was elderly and bed-bound. He was in an extremely vulnerable position. We stepped in and dealt with the company and gave the guy a 1500 dollar free boiler.”
“I just remember thinking something needs to be done about this,” said James. “This happens to so many people, and I thought if I could help just one at a time, I would be doing some good.”
Since then, DEPHER has expanded to 13 workers who are spread around the nation.
“His kindness has saved me, in many ways reminding me of the old days,” said 90-year-old Margaret, who received DEPHER’s help.
A GoFundMe campaign started to be ready for winter has so far raised an astonishing 70% of its $100,000 objective.
“The more money we get, the more money people have for their bills and to pay for food,” Anderson said.