Southsea pub The Phoenix enjoys £7,000 revamp as it rallies round regulars' Ukrainian aid mission

A PUB in Southsea undergoing a revamp has credited its ‘die-hard’ community for helping to raise more than £500 for an aid mission to Ukraine arranged by two of the boozer’s regulars.

Friday, 25th March 2022, 4:55 am

The Phoenix, in Duncan Road, held a fundraising quiz on Sunday to raise £567 to support those hard hit by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Two regulars of the pub – Mike Mowat and Aaron Barnes – sparked the idea after they told landlady Kath Birch that they would be taking a lorry full of supplies for refugees to Poland at the end of the month.

The 56-year-old publican said: ‘We only had a couple of days to organise the fundraiser.

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Pictured: Manager, Paul Mills behind the bar Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘We got a couple of bags worth of first aids, bandages and stuff – that’s going off.

‘I’m very happy with that, very happy – it’s a cracking amount to take in on a Sunday. Not a lot of people have a lot of money at the moment.

‘But it’s a massive community pub, a lovely pub. They all chip in in times of need.’

The landlady of 20 years said it was thanks to the loyalty of her customers that the business had survived the Covid-19 pandemic and was weathering the cost of living crisis, which has Kath ‘seriously worried’.

The Phoenix in Duncan Road, Southsea. Picture: Google Maps

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She said: ‘It is so much a community pub, because we have been here so long and the roots are settled, we’re okay at the moment.

‘We’re able to pay our bills.

‘But I’m dreading the bills going up. I’m seriously worried about the utilities changing.’

The Phoenix, Southsea Picture: Habibur Rahman

A boon has come in the form of a £7,200 Covid bounceback grant from the council, which is paying for a revamp including new lighting, improved toilet facilities, and fresh paintwork across the outside of the venue.

The pub, which is being painted at present, should be looking its finest in time for a street party to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June 6, according to Kath.

She added: ‘It’s going to be the same colours – Pompey blue. It’s got to be Pompey blue.’

Residents from more than 60 roads across Portsmouth have all ready applied to hold a street party through Portsmouth City Council to mark the jubilee.

The Phoenix, Southsea Picture: Habibur Rahman

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