MASTERCHEF winner Shelina Permalloo has launched a crowdfunding appeal to ensure her Southampton restaurant can reopen following its coronavirus closure.

Mauritian street food eatery Lakaz Maman, on Bedford Place, is looking for £5,000, which could then be match funded by a grant from Solent Local Enterprise Partnership.

The restaurant, which employs 14 people, is offering vouchers by way of reward to anyone who donates to the cause.

Launching the appeal, Shelina said: "We can't wait to be back up and running feeding you all the Yummy Coco Buns and cooking away our big bubbling pots of island style curries..but until then...we thank you for all your support and custom throughout the years and hope you can help us achieve our target. We want to thank you all, from the entire team here at Lakaz Maman and we will see you on the other side!"

The global Covid-19 pandemic has created an uncertain landscape for millions of Britain's small businesses, which are having to find new ways of working in order to survive.

The appeal explains that despite there being government funding available to small businesses, it isn't enough to cover the basic costs of running a restaurant such as rent, maintenance, VAT and PAYE.

Anyone pledging £10 will be treated to a hot drink and sweet of their choice while a £100 donation earns a three course meal for four at Lakaz Maman in the future.

The appeal has so far raised more than £3,000 in donations and needs to reach £5,000 by May 8 to secure the match funding.

Since winning the BBC cooking contest in 2012, Southampton born Shelina has published two well received cookery books Sunshine on a Plate and The Sunshine Diet.

Lakaz Maman opened in spring 2016 and serves authentic recipes with a modern Mauritian twist.

Donate at