When Waverley resident Beryl Redington read Matthew Smith's story in the paper her heart was touched.

Back in June, the Chronicle ran a story about the 21-year-old Whanganui man who dreamt of meeting Thomas the Tank Engine.

Matthew is autistic and finds it difficult to interact and communicate with others, but loves Thomas the Tank Engine.

Thanks to the generosity of community donations, Matthew was able to fly to Auckland with his family last month and spend a day at Glenbrook Vintage Railway.

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Meanwhile, Ms Redington had been looking to donate her grandson's old limited edition Thomas the Tank Engine set.

"When I read the article about Matthew I thought he would make a perfect new owner."

So, she contacted the Chronicle in a bid to track Matthew down to donate the set as a special Christmas gift.

On Wednesday Ms Redington meet with Matthew and mum Stacey Williams to hand over the special present.

Ms Williams said with Matthew's condition his responses can seem unusual because most people expect joy and excitement straight away.

"But Matthew just stared at the set with intense concentration and without saying anything took the set and disappeared to his room for a couple of hours. To me, who knows him, that shows how much he loved it."

OVER THE MOON: Matthew Smith shows off the donated Thomas the Tank Engine set with mum Stacey Williams. Photo/Stuart Munro
OVER THE MOON: Matthew Smith shows off the donated Thomas the Tank Engine set with mum Stacey Williams. Photo/Stuart Munro

Ms Williams said as a special needs parent sometimes you can feel quite alone, so when someone does something like this with no agenda it's just really overwhelming.

"I was holding back tears when Beryl came round with the set. It just made me so overwhelmingly happy," she said.

Ms Redington said she was just glad it all worked out and Matthew liked it.