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Plumber Launches Campaign to Help the Vulnerable this Winter

6th Dec 2019

Boiler Guide Team
By: Boiler Guide Team
Updated: 21st July 2021

keeping warm

Help the elderly and vulnerable to stay warm and safe this winter by supporting the Depher scheme.

James Anderson, a plumber from Lancashire, started a community initiative in 2017 called Depher. He had previously managed to raise over £80,000 through crowdfunding after he shared a £0 invoice for heating work completed for a 91-year-old woman. Today Depher is a not-for-profit community initiative which provides free plumbing and heating repairs to vulnerable and elderly people. The scheme has now helped more than 2,000 households, but they are now looking to expand even further.

In the winter of 2018 there were over 50,000 excess deaths in the UK and 92% of those people were over 65 years of age. This winter is predicted to be even colder with an average temperature of 3.9°C which would be the coldest since 2010. The Depher GoFundMe page aims to raise £30,000, which would be enough money to help an additional 1,000 households.

Depher's plumbers carry out the labour for free receiving £30 from Depher to cover their expenses. If a Depher plumber then receives paid work at a later date as a result, 2% of the fee is reinvested in the Depher scheme.

Click here to make a donation to Depher and enable them to help more vulnerable people to stay safe this winter.

The founder of Depher, James Anderson, said: "Last winter over fifty thousand people died because of the cold weather and this year 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. Please do get in touch if you want to get involved."

The many people who have been helped by Depher have written letters of thanks to James Anderson as well as comments on the Depher Facebook page.

Rochelle Ireland from Falkirk wrote: "Hot water and heating weren't working, and I was getting nowhere. My husband is disabled and I have a joint condition, as does our son. As soon as Depher heard our story, and the problems, they immediately agreed to help, even though we live in Falkirk, Central Scotland. Dread to think how long it would have taken us to get this sorted. Thank you doesn't cover it – you have taken a huge weight off at a very difficult time!"

Depher's team of plumbers currently covers Lancashire, Manchester, Leeds, Nottingham and Scotland, but they want to widen their network to enable them help elderly people across the country. If you are a qualified heating engineer (from anywhere in the UK) who would like to join Depher's scheme and volunteer your time, you can get in touch via the website.

If you would like to make a donation to Depher's GoFundMe campaign, you can do so by visiting https://www.gofundme.com/f/depher.

Boiler Guide Team

About the author

Boiler Guide Team

Boiler Guide has been home to a host of heating experts who have helped millions of UK homeowners searching for advice and guidance. If you’ve got heating questions, we’ll have the answers.

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