Well-wishers raise nearly £30k for shop hit by 'racist' arson attack

Well-wishers have raised thousands for the owners of an eastern European food shop attacked in an arson which have been motivated by racism.

Arsonists threw a brick through the window of the the Village Shop in Norwich before lighting a fire in the early hours of Friday.

Police said they were keeping "an open mind" over the motivation following suggestions the attack on the shop was racially motivated.

It comes amid a recent spike in reported hate crimes and incidents which peaked on the day after the EU referendum result was announced.

Helen Linehan, who set up the JustGiving page for the shop, reported that the owner was asleep with her daughter at the time of the arson.

"She could do with an act of kindness from her neighbours. Please donate. A small token will go a long way," she wrote.

The daughter of the shop owner has thanked the community for their kindness Credit: PA

Ms Lineham aded that the generosity shown by donors was "overwhelming" after the page surged past its target of £500 to hit nearly £30,000.

"The shop owners insist that they only need a small amount to restore their business. The rest will be donated to charity," she said.

Many of the donors also added personal messages to the family.

Sarah Attoe, of Norwich, said: "I am so sorry to hear what has happened to you guys.

"You will always be welcome and please do not allow bullies to push you aside."