An act of mindless vandalism has spurred a community into action to help a pensioner living alone.
Builder Jon Nichol could never have imagined the response when mobile phone footage of a gang of young teenagers throwing a stone through the window of a house in Anchorsholme emerged.
But when he posted the footage to social media site Facebook the reaction was astonishing.
The footage has been watched more than 300,000 times and prompted a wide range of emotional responses.
Jon, 50, from Mossom Lane, Anchorsholme, was working on a property across the road last Friday when he spotted the youngsters up to no good.
He said: “I could see one of them trying to put the window through with his elbow.
“I climbed down the scaffold and got my phone on record. They’ve run pretty quickly when I got there but not before putting the window through.
“I don’t want this to be a witch hunt. The police have been informed and they are confident they will find these boys.
“But I want to help the guy in the house. He’s on his own and he was terrified when he came to the door. He was too scared to call the police.
“He came up to me the next day to say thank you for what I’d done. The house isn’t in the best state so I’d like to find a way to help.”
Within hours of the video going live Mick Baker, 25, a human resources manager from Bispham, set up a Just Giving page to replace the window.
He’s been amazed by the response.
“I don’t know Jon or the man involved,” he said.“But I saw it and I had to do something.
“I set a target of £200 to replace the window. It’s already up to £700. Hopefully we can do something for this man.”
Jon and his wife Michelle, who owns a hair salon, have set up a special Facebook page to bring together all the offers of support.
He said: “There were so many responses, so many people wanting to help. My phone didn’t stop.
“I don’t know what we can do yet, I want to speak to the man first. But we don’t want people going round knocking on the door offiering help. If we can bring it all together in one place, that will be better.
“I’m sure we’ll find things we can do, to bring good out of all this.”
Jon has shared the footage from his phone with police and was full of praise for the officers who responded.
Lancashire Police confirmed it was investigating an incident of criminal damage.
The force is aware of the social media interest in the case but has warned members of the public against posting childrens’ names or making threats online.
To donate to Mick’s appeal visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/anonymous123