The owner of a sweet shop has been left devastated after yobs smashed his store's window.

After surviving the pandemic and personal issues, it felt like another blow – but the community has rallied behind Carl Gent to raise the money to pay for the damage.

On Sunday night Carl believes that the vandals used a screwdriver to smash the window.

The shop, Ye Olde Sweet Shoppe, sits on Denton Street in Denton Holme, Carlisle.

He said: “They have reached in and taken sweets that were on display and a bottle of shandy and ginger beer.

“What they have taken shows the kind of mentality of these people.”

Since the theft, Carl has been overwhelmed by the generosity as hundreds of pounds have been raised to help cover the costs of the damage.

Carl said: “I feel I needed to come and thank every comment and concern that everyone is showing towards my shop after the window was smashed the other night and items taken from the window display.

“I appreciate it, and it tells me I made the right decision in bringing a much loved-business into my hometown of Carlisle.

“I feel I need to say that the window in the shop is a large pane of glass with a bespoke frame on the front to give it the authentic look of an old sweet shop – it is not antique.

“The other point I would like to make is that preparations are under way to replace the window as I’m able to do that.

“I know good people want to set up funds and help financially, which I am very humbled and touched about. Please, don’t think I don’t appreciate everybody’s efforts in this; I do.

“After four shutdowns, personal problems and a broken window, it’s onwards and upwards with providing you the kind of shop and customer service I have given to the people of Carlisle for the last nine years.

“I know in the last three weeks I have been open I still have your loyalty, and today’s children enjoying the experience in this shop will bring their own children here in years to come and it is thanks to all my customers voting with their feet.

"I thank each and every one of you."