As James Anderson sat at his desk, a woman walked in with a bag of pound coins and 50 pence pieces. She’d been saving them for a holiday, but Covid meant she wouldn’t be able to get away. Instead, she wanted the change she’d scrimped and saved to go towards a family in need.
“I would rather a family wake up in the morning and eat something in the morning, than me sit there with a bag of money and wake up on holiday one day” she told Anderson. “That might be the last meal for that parent – I couldn’t live with myself.”
Anderson, a plumber, runs Depher – a social enterprise based in Burnley providing heating and plumbing services to those in need, as well as sending money to families for energy bills and food shops. Anderson has now helped 31,000 families across the UK with Depher.
The woman with the bags was an unusual donation – Anderson is more used to money flowing in online. In four years, Depher has raised over £460,000 to fund its operations.
Donations make up 60 per cent of Depher’s funding. He’s managed to attract £25,000 from Hugh Grant – but the smaller donations mean the most.
“That’s the thing about the British people – the majority who’ve got nothing or very little, will give you more than what they have,” he told The Big Issue.