Russell Crowe’s £5,000 donation helps Norwich bookshop smash target

An independent bookshop that received a £5,000 donation from film star Russell Crowe said it was “overwhelmed” to have smashed its fundraising target.

Bookbugs and Dragon Tales in Norwich wanted to raise £15,000 to give the business “breathing space” and to do more outreach work with children.

After what it called a “bonkers” donation from Crowe, it has raised £19,740.

Owner Leanne Fridd said it had “completely blown my mind”.

The bookshop, which opened in 2019, was forced to close during Covid lockdowns.

It managed to stay afloat, but the owners said the cost of living crisis had been taking its toll.

The appeal – which Ms Fridd called a “one-off attempt to secure our future” – aimed to cover bills and rent for six months and give her time to bid for funding to bring books to children who may not have easy access to Norwich city centre.

Within hours of the online appeal launch on Thursday, a donation appeared in the name of Gladiator star Crowe.

Ms Fridd said they had already been surprised to have a lot of donations as soon as the appeal went up.

“We were already in shock that people believed in us and Russell Crowe just tipped it over the edge,” she said.

“His gift to us was worth so much more than money; he has put his name with our business and enabled us to have higher visibility.

“And with every single donation we get there’s more we can do.”

Ms Fridd added the actor had heard of the appeal on social media via a friend of a friend and while they had not had direct contact with him, they had been able to swap messages.

As someone who donated more than £500, Crowe is entitled to a personalised gold loyalty card which entitled him to a lifetime discount at the shop.

“He has said we should keep it and frame it,” she said.

“I’m sure he doesn’t need 10% off purchases for life.

“But who knows, maybe if he’s in Norwich one day he might pop in and see us, but then again, if he did that, we might lose our minds.”

The BBC has contacted Crowe’s representatives for a comment.

-Source: BBC 

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