Kind-hearted plumber helps family pay for food and heat after witnessing living conditions

James Anderson founded an initiative named Depher, a service that gives emergency services to vulnerable people.

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A kind-hearted plumber stepped in to help a family pay their utility bills.

James Anderson founded an initiative named Depher, a service that gives emergency services to vulnerable people.

The 52-year-old from Burnley, Lancashire, have the family-of-five £170 to pay for food, gas and electricity as he grew concerned about their welfare.

He told the Liverpool Echo that the job gave him a glimpse of "actual poverty".

James has called on the government to act, as he fears what he witnessed may be replicated by families across the country amid rising energy prices.

He said: “Where do we draw the line as a society and say 'Now we need to act?'

“There’s a lot of stuff the Government can do to cut the cost of living by capping these companies that are charging stupid, extortionate, out of reality rates.

“The poorest and the lowest in the country are always going to be penalised and expected to pay the most in the country out of everybody else. It’s wrong, and it’s time for a change".

James said he visited the family after they called him fearing that they would be unable to heat their home ahead of the next payday.

He said: “They rang me to see whether there was anything we could do to help them get through until the next time they got paid.

“I said I’d pop in and see what I could do. But when I got there, I realised the actual poverty that they’re living in and the impact all this is having on people.

“You walk in and you’re talking to them, and you can see your breath while you’re talking to them.

“They’ve got children there. They’re confused because they don’t know what’s going on.

“The children are like 'Why is this happening? Why am I cold? Why can’t my mum and dad keep me warm? Why can’t they put the boiler on? Why can’t they give me a meal?'"

James said this is not the first time he has entered a home where he could see his own breath, due to how cold it was.