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THEIR dedication has made Portsmouth proud, and their efforts were honoured over the weekend.

Louise and Chris Purcell, who run the Portsmouth Poppy Appeal, have raised nearly £600,000 for the Royal British Legion in recent years.

The married couple, from Fratton, raised a huge £107,000 last year alone.

They joined members of the royal family and government ministers at the Festival of Remembrance in the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday.

Louise and Chris then paid their respects at the Remembrance Sunday event held at Portsmouth Guildhall yesterday. Navy veteran Chris, 57, said: ‘It was a brilliant event. It was a sombre occasion but it is made brilliant every year by the people of Portsmouth.

‘It is the largest civic event held in the city throughout the year and it is humbling to be a part of.’

Louise, 50, said: ‘The festival of remembrance was exhausting but an amazing experience.’

Their daughter Lucy Crawford, 22, joined them at yesterday’s event with their grandson Ayden, four.

Lucy said: ‘I am really proud of them. They work so hard and they do so much for the Poppy Appeal. They make me very proud.’

Louise said they are yet to start counting this year’s collection, but hope to beat last year’s total.

Over the past eight years, the couple have raised around £592,000.