'Community to be proud of' - Schoolboy reunited with precious reindeer
PUBLISHED: 21:51 31 August 2019 | UPDATED: 08:41 01 September 2019
It has been a Norfolk schoolboy's prized possession for more than a decade.
So when 10-year-old Sonny Price of Bunwell, lost his beloved cuddly reindeer toy during a family trip to Sheringham, he was left devastated.
Diagnosed with autism last year, Sonny has formed a strong bond with his fluffy friend ever since it was bought for him aged just three months old.
But what started out as a fun day surfing with his nanny, turned into wide-scale search with torches across the seaside town at 11pm on Friday, August 30.
Mum Selina Carriage, 35, said: "My autistic son went with his nanny surfing and had lost his little reindeers that are on a string.
"I drove from our home near Thetford, 50 miles away, because we were completely devastated."
The trip is an annual occasion which Sonny enjoys every year.
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After parking at Station Approach car park at midday, the pair made their way to the beach and returned seven hours later, which is when they realised the reindeers were missing.
Despite an extensive search, they were unsuccessful. That is when Miss Carriage took to social media to help.
Following an appeal on the Enjoy Sheringham More Facebook page, she received a message to say the reindeers may be near the lifeguard hut. When they returned the next day, the lifeguards were pleased to present the family with the lost toy.
"I just want to say a massive thank you for the 415 shares on social media and the amazing lifeguards that helped Sonny get his little reindeers back," she said.
"To some people they are two reindeers but to us, as a family, they are another addition. We cried most of the day with happy tears.
"Sonny has trouble communicating with people and his 'rats' as he calls them are his safe place, they truly are. Wherever Sonny has been, they have been.
"They are now back around his neck where they belong and where they've been for the last 10 years and hopefully another 10 years in front of him.
"We are truly humbled on humanity at the moment. It really has restored my faith in people how everybody came together."
She also praised the town, describing it as a "community to be proud of".