A PLEA from Caroline Flack urging the public to be kind two months before her death has struck a cord with a Basingstoke business owner following the television presenter’s death.

The Love Island presenter died on Saturday, February 15, of suicide.

Maxine Tollett, who runs Cake the Biscuit at Viables Craft Centre, said she and her daughter Ashleigh were moved by the tragic news, they felt compelled do something to help those suffering with mental health problems.

The pair came up with the idea of selling cupcakes carrying Caroline’s message to ‘be kind’, with 100 per cent of profits going to the Samaritans. The cakes come in a box of four along with a card with the charity’s helpline.

“My daughter is 20 and Caroline’s death has been a massive thing for her. Ashleigh always watched her on Love Island, it felt very close to home,” the mother-of-two said.

“I think it has affected lots of young adults. When something happens to a celebrity or a YouTube star, it comes as a shock. Young people are left wondering, how could this happen? From the outside it looks like they have everything.”

The intention behind the cakes is to encourage people to share the treats with one another, as well as their problems.

Maxine, 45, said the response has been “fantastic”. Within minutes of launching the cupcakes online, she had 40 orders. Some bought as many as five boxes at a time.

Ashleigh took to Twitter to praise her mum, writing: “I am so unbelievably proud of my mum. She worked so hard to get her business to where it is and now it’s her turn to give back and promote something very important.”

Maxine has been running her business at Viables for two years now.

She previously worked at Great Binfields School as an emotional support assistant for troubled children.

“I worked there for ten years before opening my shop. I have seen children going through similar issues and it’s heartbreaking. You usual social media is one of those things that doesn’t help.”

Maxine said her number one piece of advice is to “talk about everything”. The mother-of-two said: “I would just say talking is the best thing. I am a great believe in talking about something makes everything feel 100 times better.”

The business owner said she recalls a time when she felt ‘low’ before opening her cake shop.

“I was running my business on the side as a hobby. I would be up until 2am in the morning making cakes and then working at the school in the day.

“I decided something had to give. Every day, on my way into work, I’d go past this empty shop in Viables. I mentioned it to my husband but it wasn’t feasible. I got myself quite low over it.”

Then on Christmas Day is 2017, she was she was presented with a cupcake box from her husband.When she opened it, to her surprise it was the keys to the shop.

The Basingstoke mum said: “I haven’t looked back since. My feet haven’t touched the ground. I’ve loved every minute of it.”

Maxine, who was born and raised in Basingstoke, lives with her husband and their two children, Ashleigh and Bailey.

n To find out more, visit facebook.com/cakethebiscuit123/.

n For confidential support, contact the Samaritans on 116 123.