The Grocer has been awarded a Gold Achievement Award by GroceryAid for the first time.

The accolade recognises the magazine’s commitment to and achievements for the charity, which supports former grocery workers who have fallen on hard times.

GroceryAid, formed earlier this year following the merger of Caravan and Sweet Charity, said The Grocer had been recognised for strongly supporting its work by advertising its national and regional events.

It had also helped to raise awareness through its website and weekly email alerts, and had representatives on the President’s Fundraising, Southern Network and Communications Strategy committees.

“I’d like to personally thank everyone within The Grocer for their support of GroceryAid this year,” said GroceryAid director general Gillian Barker. “Your efforts these past 12 months helped us to raise more than £3.3m and have enabled us to reach out to over 3,500 current and former colleagues.”

The Grocer received the award at the 2012 Achievement Awards, announced last week in London at the charity’s annual Sporting Heroes Luncheon. A record 175 companies received either a Gold, Silver or Bronze award.

The luncheon itself raised a record £305,000 - £26,000 more than the year before.

The event was attended by 800 people from across the industry, including a host of sporting stars such as former athlete Kriss Akabusi, former snooker player Willie Thorne and sports presenter Steve Rider.