Retail Trust will donate £50,000 to support retailers affected by this week’s widespread rioting and looting, as part of a campaign the charity has launched on Twitter called #highstreetheroes.

Retail Trust will be issuing relief grants of £250 to retailers in need of immediate assistance as part of the project. It is also offering 24-hour counselling and advice on its hotline.

#Highstheroes has been set up as an emergency fund following requests from retailers. Supporters can donate online or by text. Retail Trust said it is also organising several events, raffles, auctions, parties, concerts and comedy nights, as well as running marathons and selling T-shirts in aid of the cause. All funds raised would go directly to staff, shopkeepers and families affected by the riots.

Retail Trust chief executive Nigel Rothband said: “Although the visible impact of the riots is clear through the damage done to shops, the story that doesn’t always come through is the deeper impact on those affected below the surface, emotionally, but also practically in terms of how everyday life needs to continue.”

He added: “The #highstheroes campaign is to benefit the people from retail affected rather than the property. That’s where Retail Trust’s expertise lies and where we firmly believe focus must not be lost at this most stressful of times.”

Supporters can make a donation to #Highstheroes by visiting or texting HSTH11 £5 to 70070.