Leading grocery charities Caravan and Sweet Charity are to merge.

The two charities, which together support 4,500 former grocery workers, have started a consultation to merge their work, but will run in parallel until the retirement of Sweet Charity director general Patrick Davis.

“It makes perfect sense to combine our resources in order to better support our beneficiaries,” said Caravan director general Gillian Barker, who will head the new charity.