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‘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

Lee started LKS Plumbing and Heating in September 2019     Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Lee started LKS Plumbing and Heating in September 2019 Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

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Meet the owner of LKS Plumbing and Heating who is experiencing the effects of coronavirus first-hand.

LKS Plumbing and Heating is available for emergency appointments during the current pandemic     Picture: Lee StannardLKS Plumbing and Heating is available for emergency appointments during the current pandemic Picture: Lee Stannard

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!”

LKS Plumbing and Heating opened in September 2019 and is finding the COVID-19 outbreak very hard        Picture: Lee StannardLKS Plumbing and Heating opened in September 2019 and is finding the COVID-19 outbreak very hard Picture: Lee Stannard

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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