Watch the moment boy is reunited with his favourite toy thanks to appeal

The power of social media has helped reunite an autistic boy with a toy which helps keep him calm.

Back in December, we asked for your help to track down Monkey, a cuddly toy belonging to five-year-old Thomas, who has autism.

Five-year-old Thomas with Monkey back in his hands.

Five-year-old Thomas with Monkey back in his hands.

It went missing during a trip to The Dunes in South Shields.

Tonight, his mum Rachael Branthwaite got in touch to say he has been reunited with his toy, which helps him keep calm and she says is his "lifeline."

Thanks to all those who shared and searched - you've made a little boy very happy.

Here's the moment Thomas discovered "best friend" Monkey had been found after he disappeared on December 30.

A photo issued as Rachael Branthwaite appealed for help to track down Monkey.

A photo issued as Rachael Branthwaite appealed for help to track down Monkey.