A plumber who hit the headlines after giving a 91-year-old woman a bill for £0 for fixing her boiler has launched a campaign to provide free services for the elderly this winter.
James Anderson, 52, is aiming to raise £30,000 in a bid to offer his expert services to 1,000 in need households over the chilly Christmas season.
The tradesman’s act of generosity hit the news in September when it emerged he refused to charge a 91-year-old leukaemia-sufferer for fixing her leaky boiler.
He then raised a whopping £80,000 to help others and now James is looking to do it again, as Britain braces for the coldest winter in a decade.
The tradesman from Burnley, Lancs, said: “Last winter over 50,000 people died because of the cold weather and, this year, it is set to be even harsher.
“Many elderly people struggle to pay their heating bills and, if their boiler goes, they might not be able to afford to get it fixed, meaning they are left freezing.
“I urge people to donate to our campaign so we can help as many vulnerable people as possible.
“We would also love to hear from any plumbers up and down the country who would like to join our scheme and volunteer their time.”
James runs Burnley-based not-for-profit plumbing firm Disabled and Elderly Plumbing and Heating Emergency Response (Depher).
Since its creation in 2017 the company has helped more than 3,000 families.
At one point James was close to going out of business, after spending much more than he could afford on parts to help vulnerable and elderly people.
The good-hearted businessman has even provided expensive boilers free of charge.
The work he did for free in September which went viral was for a 91-year-old leukaemia-sufferer.
On the invoice James 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.
Depher currently offers services to people in Lancashire, Manchester, Leeds, Nottingham and Scotland and James is keen to expand across the UK.
During the spring and summer months, the majority of clients are given a 25% discount, but during the colder months, the services for the clients are free.
James’ plumbers give their labour for free and receive £30 through the scheme to cover their expenses.
If any additional paid work comes as a result, 2% of the fee goes to Depher and is reinvested in the business.
People who have been helped by James have written letters of thanks to him and left comments on the Depher Facebook page.
James has asked anyone wishing to donate to his cause to please visit: https://www.gofundme.com/f/depher