Burnley plumber's company Depher CIC which helps elderly and disabled people stay warm and access food named Local Business of the Year 2022

A Burnley plumber has scooped a top business award for helping vulnerable people stay warm and access food.
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Depher (Disability and Elderly Plumbing and Heating Emergency Repair) CIC has beat more than 5,000 entrants to be named Local Business of the Year 2022 in Nextdoor’s fifth annual Good Neighbourhood Awards.

Pride of Britain winner James Anderson founded the business in 2017 to provide free heating services to elderly and disabled people. Since then, he has helped more than two million people across Lancashire and around the UK access free heating and hot water in their homes. The company has also been recognised for helping to put food on people’s tables through its Asda food app, as well as helping families clear their debt, and enlisting the support of contractors in their network to help with odd jobs.

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James (55) said: "Winning the Nextdoor award is incredibly humbling. No one should have to choose between eating or heating and recognition such as this means we can support even more people no matter where they are in the country.’’

Depher CIC founder, James Anderson.Depher CIC founder, James Anderson.
Depher CIC founder, James Anderson.

As well as the ASDA food shop app, which helps to feed around 15 British people a day by delivering up to £120 worth of food to their doors, James also runs a Cost of Living Campaign on Amazon. The scheme funds as many as 50 essential winter items a week through its Amazon wish list.

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The kind-hearted plumber has just helped a family in Northern Ireland who urgently needed their assistance with their energy bills this week. The family had also run out of food due to ongoing financial difficulties. So, Depher cleared their bills and ensured they have food for the next month.

It is this sort of commitment that has attracted the attention of Hollywood actor, Hugh Grant, who has donated more than £50,000 to Depher to support its important community work.

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Roisin O’Neill, Head of Community at Nextdoor said: “Reading through the entries received for this year’s awards, it is clear that community spirit is at the heart of British neighbourhoods.

“From individual acts of kindness to community groups and local businesses positively affecting the lives of others, we’re so incredibly proud to celebrate so many of their inspiring stories, including our Local Business of the Year, Depher CIC.’’