HVP Magazine – Altruistic plumber wins 2022 Local Hero Award



James Anderson, who started a charity to help the elderly and vulnerable, has been named the 2022 SGS Engineering Local Hero Award Winner.

Earlier this year, UK residents were asked to nominate ‘hero’ traders in their area who have gone above and beyond to help their community with their generosity. From these nominations, SGS Engineering shortlisted seven finalists for a public vote.

In the end James Anderson from Burnley received a large share of the vote (70%) and will receive a cash prize of £1,000. Three regional finalists will also each receive a cash prize of £250.

Anderson has dedicated his personal and professional time to setting up DEPHER, a free service designed to help the elderly and vulnerable struggling during the cost of living crisis. His work attracted the attention of actor Hugh Grant, who donated £10,000.

In 2021, DEPHER and Anderson were honored with a Points of Light Award by the Prime Minister’s Office.

Visitors to the DEPHER Facebook group often see examples of Anderson’s generosity, including free boiler repairs and installations for those in need, free emergency relief for the elderly and vulnerable, and even shopping for the homeless.

Upon receiving the award, Anderson said, “Thank you for nominating me and DEPHER for this fantastic award, it’s overwhelming and humbling.

“From a business perspective, the people we help may not be family, we may not be blood relatives, but we will continue to treat them like family and we will always be here. As long as we have the power to deliver (our services), you will never be alone and you will never be left in the dark.

“This is for the people we serve, the people we provide support services to, and awards like this give us more opportunities to help them.”

Anderson said “many families” would benefit from the £1,000 cash prize.

Band of Builders is the first runner-up, along with Ash Haynes from Bruno’s Eco Services, Swansea, Wales and Darren McGee from DMG Services Group, Bellshill, Scotland.

Band of Builders is a volunteer group of builders who have raised thousands of pounds and support local people by doing their work for free.

Haynes responded to the cost-of-living crisis and the isolation caused by the pandemic by offering to do free gardening, cleaning and landscaping work for those in need. He also offered the time to speak to anyone who needed some company.

McGee runs DMG Services, a Scottish roofing company that has done it all by providing free repairs to the elderly and apprenticeships to the unemployed in the area.?

Dave Gordon, General Manager at SGS Engineering, commented: “Congratulations to James and the three regional runners-up on their fantastic work and well-deserved awards – the decision to go out of the way to be kind and generous should be applauded by people will be up and down the country.

“Last year we created the Local Hero Awards to highlight the wonderful work of thoughtful plumbers, builders, electricians, carpenters, gardeners and mechanics, who often go under the radar when performing acts of generosity, the people of their community help.

“Thanks again to the craftsmen who were nominated for their amazing work and congratulations again to James, the runners up and the other finalists who deserve their recognition.”

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