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An angel dressed as a plumber


21 September 2019 at 12:00 pm
Maggie Coggan
An English plumber has become an internet sensation after refusing to bill a 91-year-old woman with acute leukemia for work on her boiler. 


Maggie Coggan | 21 September 2019 at 12:00 pm


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An angel dressed as a plumber
21 September 2019 at 12:00 pm

An English plumber has become an internet sensation after refusing to bill a 91-year-old woman with acute leukemia for work on her boiler. 

James Anderson has run his not-for-profit plumbing business, Depher CIC, since 2017 doing home repairs for over 2,500 seniors and disadvantaged families across Lancashire in England – particularly during the cold winter months.

But it was Christine Rowland’s invoice for 0 pounds, which she posted an image of to Facebook on 10 September, that attracted worldwide attention and donations for Anderson’s charity. 

The invoice read: “Lady is 91 years of age with acute leukaemia, end of life care. No charge for this lady under any circumstances. We will be available 24 hours to help her and keep her as comfortable as possible.”

Rowland said in her post he was an “angel dressed as a plumber”.

“How kind is this,” she said. 

The company’s heavily discounted or free plumbing work is funded via a crowdfunding page. 

A statement on the page said 17,000 people died last winter due to cold housing, and it encouraged the public to give to the initiative to cope with the upcoming demand.  

“We are now on the verge of coming into our third winter period and we know that the service will be needed even more if the winter becomes a cold and long one,” the statement said.  

Anderson told the BBC he wanted to help people in need maintain their dignity and independence, and prevent them from falling into debt. 

 “There are too many elderly and disabled people suffering in silence,” he said.

“They don’t like asking for help. They don’t want to be a burden.” 

The crowdfunding account has well surpassed its original goal of 4,500 pounds (A$8,264) with donations sitting at around 38,000 pounds (A$70,173). 


Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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