A YOUNG Ukrainian soldier has received potentially life-saving equipment thanks to a fundraising campaign lead by a Southampton pub.

Kat Szustalik, who works at the Cricketers on Bedford Place, has told of her experience in Poland volunteering to help Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war.

More than £3,000 has been raised by the pub staff and their regulars, which has equated to around 19,000 Polish Zloty.

Rather than donating the funds to a bigger charity, Kat, who already had a holiday booked to her hometown Tarnobrzeg, took the money to Poland on March 20 and spent almost two weeks helping refugees at centres on the Ukraine-Polish border.

Kat said she was unable to describe the situation and stressed how "awful" it is to see such despair.

One of the people supported by Kat was a lady who was found "in floods of tears".

Kat said this was her "most heartbreaking moment" during her time in Poland.

Kat explained: "I found crying Ukrainian woman at the refugee centre.

"She explains she need at least a dark green T-shirt to take for her son who was 22-years-old and had just joined the army.

"So I said we can help with that and I took her to a military shop.

"She praised everyone who donated so much, I was crying.

"She is going to drive to Ukraine to deliver it to him."

The Cricketers fundraiser provided a bulletproof vest, jacket, trousers, T-shirts, a rucksack, an army knife, a torch, and a sleeping bag for the 22-year-old.

Kat flew to Krakow on March 20 and provided aid and volunteered at the refugee centre at a railway station.

She then spent time in Przemsl, a city by the border, providing food and volunteering at the "massive" humanitarian aid centre.

She also provided help at her hometown Tarnobrzeg with small refugee centre.

She flew back to Southampton on April 1.

All of the money has been raised by The Cricketers team and the customers who visit the pub.

"Truly the Cricketers community are brilliant," she said.

"It is warming my heart up see how much our customers have helped."

To donate to the campaign, visit www.gofundme.com/f/the-cricketers-arms-together-for-ukraine?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet&fbclid=IwAR0P08c1unbAMygIPuKm6IVeQ5dubeFXmd8LDxGFyiKkQ4MeKYDAAChBdsg