A former employee of fundraising firm Wesser has alleged that the company deliberately targets elderly and vulnerable people living alone for donations, and pockets 45 pence for every pound collected from donors in their first two years of donations.

Following the allegations published in The Sun newspaper St John Ambulance, Wesser’s largest client, has suspended its dealings with them while it carries out its own investigation.

The whistle-blower claims that in a training session a Wesser executive read out the company’s “official” policy, that vulnerable people would not be targeted and then contradicted it, saying: “People who live on their own, and are old are easier to get to sign up”.

According to The Sun the boss of the Letchworth-based firm, Martin Wesser, enjoys a “champagne lifestyle” and owns a £1 million penthouse in Madrid. He has told the newspaper that all his trainers know that targeting the elderly is “completely inappropriate” and has promised to take action “to ensure this activity is eradicated”.

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