The Stonehouse community has rallied around a florist after a thief stole a specially ordered Valentine's Day bouquet from her shop.

When residents found out a man had stolen 50 red roses from The Flower Shop, they sent co-owner Rachel Smith £50 in donations as well as cards and well-wishes.

Ms Smith is donating the money to Papyrus UK, a suicide prevention charity, and matching it with another £50 out of her own pocket.

“I can’t believe how amazing the response has been,” said Rachel, who has run the shop since 2018.

“I really didn’t expect the reaction that I’ve had. A massive thank you for all the emails, messages, cards, kind words and most of all the huge support from our Stonehouse community.”

The thief had placed an order for the roses with diamantés in every flower, but when he  picked them up he asked Rachel to go inside for a gift card and then did a runner.

“I don’t want to take any of the money because everyone is having a hard time this year so I’m donating it to charity,” Rachel said.

Papyrus was founded in 1997 to reduce the stigma around suicide and equip young people and their communities with the skills to recognise and respond to suicidal behavior.

“There’s also been a lot of suicides in the past year and working in the flower industry I’ve had a very high funeral workload,” said Rachel.

Rachel lost her father to suicide aged 57 when she was a young adult, and she said there wasn’t enough help available for him or awareness of the issue at the time.

Suicide is the biggest killer of young people – male and female – in the UK, according to Papyrus.

For confidential suicide prevention advice, contact Papyrus on 0800 068 4141.

If you or anyone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123.

A full list of NHS approved helplines can be found on their website.