AN emergency appeal to help people affected by coronavirus has now raised more than £1.5 million – boosted by Argus readers.

The Sussex Crisis Fund has paid out its latest round of grants to charities which are helping communities across the county.

The fund was set up by the Sussex Community Foundation and the Argus Appeal and American Express each gave £50,000 to kick it off. Donations have since flooded in from our readers and organisations keen to help the most vulnerable during the pandemic.

We have been keeping you updated on where the money is going.

Five of the latest grants, worth £20,000, have been paid to groups providing support to black, Asian and minority ethnic (Bame) communities.

The Black and Minority Ethnic Community Partnership (BMECP) in Brighton received £7,810 to set up a food bank.

Its project manager Juliet Ssekitoleko said: “Although there are 46 food banks in the city, none of them is a Bame food bank.

“We were so pleased to receive this grant as it means we can support people who are really struggling.

“Some of them have lost their jobs and they are on the poverty line. I think it could be a long time before things go back to normal for them.”

The BMECP food bank is open on Fridays between midday and 4pm from its base in Fleet Street, Brighton.

Juliet is using the grant to find suppliers for food including rice, cooking oils and flour to accommodate the needs of different groups.

Chief executive of the Sussex Community Foundation Kevin Richmond is urging other organisations which support Bame communities to apply for funding, following a report which found these groups are likely to be hardest hit by the economic impact of the pandemic.

He said: “We need to keep these applications coming so we will continue to make sure organisations working with Bame communities in Sussex will hear about the Sussex Crisis Fund and will get help to apply, if needed.”

Extratime, a Brighton charity which supports families with children who have special educational needs, also received £5,000 to move its services online.

The Argus: Extratime volunteers Charlotte Carter and Terri Jones, pictured before lockdown. The charity has received £5,000 to move its services onlineExtratime volunteers Charlotte Carter and Terri Jones, pictured before lockdown. The charity has received £5,000 to move its services online

The charity is based at Portslade Village Centre and runs after-school clubs for young people in Brighton and Hove and parts of West Sussex.

Chief executive Sam Price said: “We’re thrilled with this grant as we’ve been able to fund the tech support to set up our services for people at home quickly, with a range of activities and one-to-one sessions for our young people.

“Families with children who have additional needs are extremely vulnerable at the moment. Things are already very tough for them and they consider Extratime to be a life line.

“We’re here to give parents a break and kids some fun.

“We’re so grateful for the support from the Sussex Crisis Fund – we wouldn’t be able to do what we’re doing without it.”

To donate to the fund, go to