Grocery charity Caravan has raised more than £2.28m during the past ­financial year, enabling it to spend a record £1.9m on welfare support.

The annual Diamond Ball was Caravan's biggest fundraiser and its annual Sporting Heroes Luncheon contributed strongly.

The president's inaugural Great Tour Ride, in which cyclists cover a 6,600km route along Britain's coastline, kicked off last week and runs until 4 September. The event seeks to raise the profile of the charity and highlight its work within the local communities on the cycle route.