A British plumber who went viral in 2019 for not charging his 91-year-old customer has earned plaudits again after he provided free plumbing or heating services for 17,000 people.
James Anderson’s UK-based company has also won the annual £1000 Local Hero Award, which recognises builders, plumbers, electricians, joiners, plasterers contributing to the community.
In the 2019 incident, Anderson included a $0 invoice along with a heart-touching note after providing his service to a terminally ill woman who suffered from acute leukaemia.
Moved by the plight of elderly and disabled people further disadvantaged by bad-quality plumbing, Anderson started Depher, Disability and Elderly Plumbing and Heating Emergency Repair, which played a pivotal role during the Covid pandemic.
In 2019, British plumber James Anderson learned 91-yr-old customer was terminally ill with Acute Leukemia so he included in $0 invoice a note that read:”No charge for this lady under any circumstances. We will be available 24hrs to help her & keep her as comfortable as possible.” pic.twitter.com/eXyObHKCRY
— GoodNewsCorrespondent (@GoodNewsCorres1) November 10, 2022
He also regularly buys food for individuals and families he finds living in poverty when he fixes their heating system. An amazing man.
— Sabrina Joyce-Kemper SJK (@kemper_sabrina) November 10, 2022
Brilliant compassion defined as love in action. Much respect to this everyday hero.
— jenny wren (@twintrekking) November 10, 2022
A true Hero❤ mankind could learn so much from him
— Caza (@Caza25866229) November 10, 2022
Anderson has been hailed as a hero online and appreciations have been pouring in. A Twitter user commented, “He also regularly buys food for individuals and families he finds living in poverty when he fixes their heating system. An amazing man.” Another user wrote, “Brilliant compassion defined as love in action. Much respect to this everyday hero.” A third user wrote, “A true Hero mankind could learn so much from him.”
The heart-touching invoice that had gone viral read, “No charge for this lady under any circumstances. We will be available 24hrs to help her & keep her as comfortable as possible.”
During the pandemic, the company also provided personal protective equipment and food. Last year, it was awarded the Points of Light award by the office of the British prime minister.
Former prime minister Boris Johnson was quoted as saying in a letter by Depher’s website, “I was inspired to learn about how you have used your professional skills to help over 16,000 vulnerable people with free emergency plumbing and heating services.
“You have dedicated countless hours of your time and raised thousands of pounds to help those in need. It is a brilliantly practical way of serving others.”
Anderson replied, “I am very humbled to be receiving this special award. I would like to thank the Prime Minister’s office for the recognition of the work we do in the community. Without the support from our community and from other donors worldwide Depher would not be able to continue as it does. I appreciate all the support I get.”
Anderson started his career as a plumber in 1998. His company provides urgent emergency works such as repairing gas leaks, installing new boilers and heating systems–and gives running hot water to the needy.