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  • Writer's pictureWorld Half Full

Fixing pipes for free


A boiler on the blink can not only leave people cash poor, it risks exposing the vulnerable to hyperthermia. So when James Anderson from Lancashire, UK, was called to look at a leaky boiler in the house of a terminally-ill 91-year-old woman, he fixed it for free. The story of the no-charge invoice soon went viral and people raised more than £80,000 to help Anderson continue his altruistic efforts. 

Now, with the UK facing one of its harshest winters in decades, Anderson has launched a GoFundMe campaign intended to raise £30,000 to help any elderly facing fuel poverty. “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,” Anderson told the Lancashire Telegraph. “I urge people to donate to our campaign so we can help as many vulnerable people as possible.”

The GoFundMe campaign is a continuation of a community interest company Anderson launched in 2017 — the Disabled and Elderly Plumbing and Heating Emergency Response (Depher). Anderson’s response unit serves people throughout the north of England and parts of Scotland, and has since helped more than 2,000 people in need.

Anderson pays himself a monthly salary of £400 a week; any profit from private work is reinvested in Depher. With plans to expand, Anderson has issued a callout to anyone willing to help. “We would love to hear from any plumbers up and down the country who would like to join our scheme and volunteer their time,” he said.

ABOVE Burnley plumber James Anderson

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