GroceryAid has reported a bumper year.

The charity - which helps those who work or have worked in the sector and have fallen on hard times - said it hit a record fundraising total of £4.3m in the year to 31 March thanks to events such as its Annual Diamond Ball and Sporting Heroes Luncheon, which raised £291,667 and £307,000 respectively.

It helped more than 8,500 people during the year, spending a record £3.7m on welfare support. There was also a 45% uplift in calls to its helpline.

“Thanks to the excellent support of our industry, our welfare work was carried out against a backdrop of increasing numbers of attendees at the many events held locally, centrally and in our name,” said GroceryAid director general Gillian Barker.

“This security enabled our welfare team to work to ensure all our beneficiaries are receiving the best care and attention afforded by GroceryAid.”