Plumber Who Didn't Charge Elderly Customer Raises £80,000
A generous plumber who fixes boilers free of charge for the elderly and disabled wants to extend his services across the country, having received £80,000 in donations in less than a week.
James Anderson, 52, from Burnley, risked going bankrupt for the cause, closing down his business to relaunch it as a not-for-profit company
He raises money to help people through Depher, using crowdfunding and donations in order to help people in Lancashire.
Over the last week, his work went viral after a photo of his bill for £0 that he sent to a 91-year-old woman with a terminal illness was posted online.
Mr Anderson has said he is overwhelmed by the support he's received, after offers of holidays and emails of praise came pouring in, as well as a huge £80,000.
He said: "People are talking about doing it in America, France and Australia, and they're all going to contact me to get advice and guidance as to how to do it in their countries.
"Hopefully... we can bring all communities together for one common cause across the planet, so everybody who's elderly and disabled, not just in the UK, can benefit from something like this in society."
Since Monday, he has received £79,767 in donations since Monday, saying that before the fame he'd could barely afford to pay off his overdraft.
He wants to use the donations to help people outside of Lancashire, hoping to expand across the country.
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He said: "I had to lay two of the lads off because I couldn't afford it, then I had to go out and do the jobs myself as well as the paperwork, advertising, quotes and everything else.
"Now I can look at bringing them back. We don't just have to do Lancashire now. I'm going to be ringing local engineers in the wider area.
"We've had companies say they'll do all the advertising for us including a website, all free of charge. This is just the beginning of something that can be global."
Although Mr Anderson has selflessly helped those who need it, his own personal debts have racked up while trying to make the not-for-profit work - but the public weren't having that.
He said: "A lady from London rang up and put £2,000 in my personal bank account for me to pay towards my debt, and another gentleman rang up and put £1,000 in for me.
"That's £3,000 off the debt, which will keep the wolves from the door until I can get some more private jobs. That way I don't have to touch the funding, which I don't want to do."
You can learn more about the project here.
Featured Image Credit: SWNS