A man was left devastated when his “livelihood” was allegedly stolen while setting up this year’s fireworks display in Carshalton Park.

Stephen Fowkes-Smith, a self-employed builder, volunteered to help set up the display on November 1.

But when he went back to his van, the 48-year-old had discovered it had disappeared – along with tools he says are worth up to £15,000.

Without them, he now “cannot work” and the news comes as he plans to marry his long-time partner of 10 years, Tina, in two weeks’ time.

He said: “I was there helping lay all the ground boards down to protect the ground for the park so all the vehicles can get in and out.

“So I parked my van on the road, put the tools back in it, locked it back up, went back to the park, and got done what I got done.

“It was parked there from 8am and then by the time I got back at 1pm it'd gone.

“The whole van had just been taken, it all disappeared.”

Mr Fowkes-Smith, from Carshalton, has been a self-employed builder for 30 years since he left school at 16 years old, and says the tools had been collected over the decades.

Although his vehicle had been allegedly stolen, he decided to commit to helping with the fireworks display the following night and “worry about the van later”.

What’s more is he and his partner planned on marrying in a barn in Morden, however, the loss of his van means they’ve had to re-buy some of the items.

He added: “I think I actually said to a couple of builders who were opposite as we walked towards them and I said to them, 'that's my life in that van'.

“I know it might sound harsh but everything I've done, everything I do, is in there. I built up a tool collection over the span of my life. It's just been taken, it's just vanished.

“I came to lock my house but I haven't even got a screwdriver. Every time I look to do something it's in the van.”

Now a fundraiser has been setup in a bid to get help get him back on his feet, with the original £1,000 target having been smashed.

A total of £2,655 has been raised at the time of publishing after the JustGiving page was set up by Jane Wise.

Mr Fowkes-Smith said he was “blown away” by the support he has received.

A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said: "At around 1.30pm, on November 1, a man attended a south London police station to report the theft of his van from The Park, Carshalton.

"It's believed the vehicle, which had a large quantity of tools inside, was stolen between 10.30am and 1pm.

"Offices assessed the evidence available and a decision was taken to close the investigation.

"This can be reopened if any further evidence comes to light."

To see the JustGiving page, click here.