This year, we're proud to be supporting local charity Depher with their vital work in vulnerable communities across the North West.
Depher provides urgent emergency plumbing and heating works either free of charge or heavily discounted to members of the community who would otherwise struggle to access it – the elderly, vulnerable, registered disabled or on very low income. This work includes repairing gas leaks, installing new boilers and safe heating systems and providing running hot water.
Born in Liverpool but now based in Burnley, Depher’s founder James Anderson has been working locally as plumber since 1998.
Over the course of his career, he regularly witnessed the low quality of life many of his most vulnerable customers endured due to poor calibre heating and plumbing. As well as being ineffective, in many cases it was potentially life-threatening.
James was inspired to launch Depher back in 2017, when he was asked to give a second opinion to an elderly gentleman who had received a £5,500 quote from another company.
“This company had tried to scam this guy for thousands of pounds he didn’t have, for work that he certainly did not need. This guy was elderly and bed-bound— he was in an extremely vulnerable position. We stepped in and dealt with the company and gave the guy a £1,000 free boiler.”
A registered Community Initiative Company, Depher’s work is mainly focused in the Burnley area but they do also assist vulnerable households in Greater Manchester. The long-term goal is to cover Bury and Preston as well. The tiny team relies purely on public donations to cover the cost of labour and materials. This allows them to provide free gas and plumbing services during winter months and heavily discounted services at other times.
Household energy bills increased in April 2022 by as much as 54% and close to 3 million households are said to be suffering from fuel poverty. As the cost of living crisis escalates, Depher’s aim is to provide families in dire need a lifeline without any hurdles or red tape. So far, they have supported over 30,000 families, providing over £1.2 million of support. During the pandemic, the team also helped distribute PPE and food to the community. They are continuing to provide emergency food deliveries and supermarket vouchers today.
James has closed his profit-making plumbing business to focus purely on Depher. In May 2022, he was given the Special Recognition Prize at the Pride of Manchester Awards.
How is Reserve going to be supporting Depher?
From July 2022 to February 2023, we're going to be donating £800 a month, which will cover the cost of one new boiler every month for a household in need. We’ll be raising the money through ‘by the glass’ sales in our bars.
If you'd like to make a personal donation to Depher, you can do so via their website here. You can also see more of their day-to-day work and some of the people they've been helping over on their Twitter page.
Images shared with permission