Retail executives have raised £1m for workers and their families in need at the annual Retail Trust Ball.

The total raised at the event this week at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London came from personal pledges and corporate contributions from some of the best-known retail businesses and business leaders in the UK, as well as the results of a silent auction of 50 lots.

Arcadia chief Sir Philip Green gave £100,000, while Tesco donated £50,000. The silent auction raised more than £100,000, including £9,000 for a World Cup hospitality package and £5,500 for a four-day trip to Japan.

The fundraising follows a 92% increase in calls from retail workers to the Retail Trust's helpline in the past year in the wake of an increase in redundancies.

"No one can be unaware of how the retail sector has suffered this year," said Retail Trust chief executive, Nigel Rothband.

"The work Retail Trust carries out relies on fundraising such as this to help those in need: those who have suffered redundancy, have become the victims of in-store crime, or whose families have been the victim of tragedies."

The ball was also the venue for the final of the first ever nationwide Retail Trust Search for a Star competition. Nineteen-year-old Nicola Cassells from Ayr, a sales associate for jewellery retailer H Samuel, was voted winner after a live performance of Time to Say Goodbye.

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