THE office of a charity in Kendal was damaged by an intruder who broke in over the weekend.

The Cumbria Deaf Association office, located on Castle Street, was broken into at some point between June 11 and 12.

Damage was caused to the premises including doors kicked in, a rear window having a rock thrown through it, a door being damaged by fire and a metal shutter being torn up.

Police confirmed they are investigating the burglary at the premises after it was reported to them on June 13.

They are investigating the theft of computer equipment and the damage done to the building.

General manager Caroline Howsley said: "You can imagine our shock and disbelief that someone would go to so much effort to break in and cause so much damage.

"Yes we are insured however that doesn't cover the emotional cost to our deaf community, many of whom consider the Kendal centre their second home.

"During Covid the deaf community faced a more significant barrier in communication than most and it has taken KDA time to encourage people back to groups because the isolation has led to greater levels of anxiety in the deaf community.

"We have been buoyed by the messages from well-wishers and offers of help. Today, we have dealt with the practicalities but tomorrow we start to look ahead to how we recover from this setback.

"Covid presented us with many challenges that we adapted to including a significant drop in funding and income generating activity.

"This break in is a further set back potentially delaying the opening of two new social support groups in Kendal, one for the deaf community and the other for people who are Hard of Hearing.

"The KDA team comprises of a dedicated team who are busy on video calls helping to reassure our deaf clients that we are still here for them, even if our doors are temporarily closed."

Anyone with information is urged to contact the police on 101.