‘I rely on universal credit to feed my girls’ - what coronavirus is doing to our community
PUBLISHED: 15:30 27 April 2020 | UPDATED: 15:49 27 April 2020
Meet the owner of LKS Plumbing and Heating who is experiencing the effects of coronavirus first-hand.
In September 2019, Lee Stannard took a leap of faith and decided to launch his own business, LKS Plumbing and Heating, after suffering from a bad accident in his previous job. Although the business was launched with great success, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit Lee, his business and his family hard.
Lee adds: “Because I’m self-employed and my business hasn’t been running for a year, I’m not eligible to receive help from the government. I’ve been advised to take out a loan, but I’d have to pay it back within 12 months and quite honestly I don’t know if that’s realistic as I don’t know when I’ll be able to go back to work properly. I’m a hard worker and have served my country in the RAF, but now I’m not receiving any help.”
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“It’s so disheartening – I put everything into the business and now I have to rely on universal credits to feed my girls. My wife, who works in Boots, can’t bring home enough money to cover all the bills – and we still need to put food on the table!”
Lee is still available for those who need emergency plumbing or heating jobs and is being very careful to stick to the government’s social distancing guidelines. He says: “I want to keep my family and clients safe, but I understand that urgent jobs will still come up. I’m more than happy to do a quick fix so it’s safe and reliable, then to come back and complete the job once regulations have loosened up.
“Clients who I have helped during the outbreak have explained the problem to me from a two-metre distance, then once I’ve fixed the problem they leave the money on the table so we all stay a safe distance away from each other. I recently completed a job with a client that was also facing financial troubles due to coronavirus – I didn’t charge a callout fee, just an hour’s rate and for the bits and bobs I used because I know how hard this time is for some people.”
LKS Plumbing and Heating is a business that prides itself on being honest, reliable and trustworthy, with absolutely no hidden fees. Delivering top-quality customer service is paramount to Lee, as he always makes sure a jobs is done to be highest possible standard. He also gives each and every client a follow up call a week after to job is completed to ensure the client is still fully satisfied with the service.
Lee says: “I know everyone’s grand plan is to retire by 45, but I just want to make a good, honest wage and to be able to support my family.”
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