AN East Lancashire mum is the star of a chocolate firm’s Christmas video which shows her being reunited with her son.

The Continental Journeys series has been released by Thorntons as part of the #PassTheLoveOn campaign.

It shows the moment Alwyn Stead gives his mother, Alison Stead, the best Christmas present by returning home from Bangkok in a surprise festive reunion.

Mrs Stead was facing Christmas at home in Barnoldswick without all of her three children together for the first time as her son moved to Thailand to teach.

Her story was discovered after Thorntons asked the British public to nominate a family member they’d like to reunite with this Christmas over a virtual reality experience.

The experience line was a ruse to trick Mrs Stead, as she thought she would only see her son through the VR.

In the video, Mrs Stead is told to take her VR goggles off as there is a technical issue, and then sees her son is standing in front of her instead.

She said: “I was really nervous about the virtual reality experience, as I have never done anything like that before.

“But when I took off my virtual reality headset and saw him actually standing there, it was surreal.

“I was so shocked. It has meant so much to me to be able to spend time with him this Christmas, a real dream come true.”

Alwyn said: “Surprising mum was amazing.

“She had been messaging me all week telling me that I couldn’t forget my phone as I needed it for the VR experience she had won.

“I was actually really nervous when I was standing in front of her, waiting for her to take her headset off.

“I couldn’t wait to just give her a hug. I think from her big scream you can see how surprised she was.

“I am so glad we get to spend some time together this Christmas.”

Ian Tweedale, marketing director of Thorntons said: “We’re so pleased to have been able to reunite families and help them ‘Pass The Love On’ through our Continental Journeys Competition again, making their Christmas dreams come true."