A 95-year-old woman was left devastated after conmen stole her life savings, including money she was saving for her funeral.

Hazel lives alone in Ham Close and on November 1 two men came to her home pretending to be from the council.

They said they were working in the flat above hers, which had a “bad leak”, and needed to access her home.

After asking Hazel to go into the kitchen to run the taps they proceeded to steal more than £5,000 in cash and jewellery.

Friend and neighbour Kerri Rose said: “This is such a horrible thing to happen to a lovely and kind person.

“Her whole smile has gone.

“Hazel was so sad – this was money she had been saving for years for her funeral – she just burst into tears.”

Kerri Rose, 43, who is a foster carer, set up a JustGiving page which had reached £2,271 at the time of writing.

She said: “Ham is a good community and when things like this happen we pull together.”

She has thanked all those who donated on the page and said: “You have already put a smile back on her face.

“She is really touched and grateful for all donations and lovely messages you have done.

“Me and Mandy have discussed with Hazel what she would like to do with the money, she has asked for us to go with her to the local funeral directors and pay off her funeral costs, that way she has no cash hanging around and this sort of thing won’t happen again.”

After the community showed such an outpouring of support, Hazel said she is “totally overwhelmed”.

She added: “I just want to warn other people to be very careful and to check people’s identity when they want to access their property.”

To donate go here.

A spokesman for the Met Police said: “Officers in Richmond are investigating a distraction burglary where two suspects pretended to be utility workers.

“The victim, aged in her 90s, answered the door to her home in Ham Close, Richmond to two unknown males at around 12.15pm on Wednesday, November 1.

“They were wearing hi-visibility jackets and said they were from a water company and that there was a leak at the property.

“One of the men was brought into the kitchen by the victim, and both men left around 20 minutes later.

“The victim then noticed that cash and bank books had been stolen from drawers.

“Both men were white males - one around 5ft 7in tall, and the other around 6ft 1in tall.”

No arrests have been made.

If you have any information that could assist officers, call Kingston CID on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.