SHE’S been a stalwart of Portsmouth Poppy Appeal helping the city to raise in excess of £1m for a forces charity in just over a decade.
But after 11 remarkable years at the helm of the city’s annual fundraiser for the Royal British Legion, veterans champion Louise Purcell is stepping down.
Grandmother-of-six Louise said she was stepping down from her leadership role after a tough year, which saw her being made redundant from her job at Rowlands Pharmacy and diagnosed with skin cancer on her nose.
She has bounced back from both, clinching a new job working for Boots and having an operation to remove the cancer. She said: ‘When I first started I said that once I managed to raise £100,000 in a year that I’d retire – well we hit that about five years ago and it’s just gone from strength to strength.
‘But now I think it’s right for me to step down as a Poppy Appeal organiser. I want to spend more time with my grandchildren and I have to think of my health.’