Burnley plumber goes viral after he fixes boiler of leukaemia victim (91) for free

Burnley plumber James Anderson has won worldwide fame for his kind act for a 91-year-old cancer victim
Burnley plumber James Anderson has won worldwide fame for his kind act for a 91-year-old cancer victim

A Burnley plumber, who has given up his own time and money to help those in need, has won admiration from across the globe for his latest good deed.

The daughter of a woman suffering from acute leukaemia was so touched when James Anderson repaired her mum's boiler free of charge she decided to share his £0 invoice on social media.

James 0 invoice which has been shared across the internet

James 0 invoice which has been shared across the internet

And the post went viral, receiving thousands of shares and was even posted on a site in America for people to share videos, stories and images of people carrying out acts of kindness.

To date the story has attracted around 700 comments from people praising James for his generosity.

The receipt for the boiler repair was accompanied by a note reading: "No charge for this lady under any circumstances. We will be available 24 hours to help her and keep her as comfortable as possible."

James' new found fame even won him a spot on ITV's This Morning where he was interviewed by Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby.

Speaking about the positive public reaction, James, who is 52, said: "We didn't expect it. It's been everywhere."

The handyman, originally from Liverpool, has worked hard to raise funds for the enterprise, using crowdfunding and donations to enable him to help people in need across Lancashire.

The father of five said he was inspired to wind down his private work and begin Depher after seeing an elderly man poorly treated by another engineer.

Since 2017, James has provided free or lower-cost plumbing to those in need throughout winters.

And although the switch to not-for-profit work has seen him fall into debt himself he has vowed to continue with his work.

He added: "A lot of people close to me ask: why are you getting yourself in to debt? Why are you doing this?

"To me, debt is debt... I would rather owe some money to somebody and another person be alive and happy and safe.

"It's an ethos that's in my heart and it will always stay there."

Having helped locals in Lancashire over the past two winters, Mr Anderson is now hoping to take Depher's work country-wide.

James has applied for funding and trustees to get on board with Depher, which stands for Disabled and Elderly Plumbing and Heating, and he wants to get as many tradesman as possible on board across the UK.

He said: "I've spoken to quite a few engineers around the country and they're all for it... it's just getting the funding.

"I don't want any person who is elderly and disabled in this country, in this day and age, to die or suffer because of a cold home or a lack of funding to repair the boiler.

"It shouldn't be happening - that number should be down to zero. Simple as that.

"The initiative can and will save lives and show the vulnerable there are people in the community who care about them and their safety.

"This will bring us together again as the caring and strong country that we are known to be worldwide."

Along with going into debt personally James suffered a setback last year when his van was broken into while he was visiting his mother in hospital.

He was devastated to discover two boxes of tools, including drills, had been taken from the vehicle outside his home in the Coal Clough area of Burnley.

The theft also coincided with the fifth anniversary of the death of his son, William who died aged just 16 weeks.

Although shaken by the theft James vowed to continue with his work saying: "I will carry on helping people, the elderly, vulnerable and disabled because to see the smile on someone's face knowing that you have helped to make their home safe and warm is worth everything."

So far the total donated to James' fund stands at £6,820 and anyone who would like to make a donation is asked to go to https://www.gofundme.com/f/depher-cic-uk-free-plumbing-amp-heating?