A lost lion was reunited with his anxious three-year-old owner thanks to social media.

“Raa Raa”, the favourite soft toy of three-year-old Edmund, disappeared during a trip to The Level, Brighton, on Tuesday.

After a frantic hunt searching for the toy, Hanover mother Kirsty Yates took to social media to appeal for help, posting on the Hanover Community Notice Board.

Fellow Brightonians dutifully spread the word online, just as a customer handed the toy into Velo café assistant manager Lois May-Miller.

Her colleague Sophie Lant was also working at the time of the incident in the Level-based eaterie.

She said: “Edmund’s mum had asked in the café earlier if anyone had found her son’s lion but no-one had seen Raa Raa.

“Later a customer came in to hand the toy in. He said he found him by one of our outside tables, but we had no way of making contact with the family again.

“So we posted a picture of him on Twitter in the hope someone would know who was missing their special toy.

“We were really happy to be able to reunite him with his owner. He is obviously a well loved lion and we all know how upsetting it is to lose a cherished toy or comfort blanket.”

Emma Daniel, Brighton and Hove City councillor for the Hanover ward, saw the initial message on Facebook and distributed it to her followers on Twitter, then pitched in contacting the family online when news of the Velo’s discovery came to light.

She said the incident showed the power behind the community and its use of social media, adding: “The toy was reunited with its family in a matter of hours thanks to Twitter and Facebook.

“I monitor social media quite heavily now and I think it’s a really useful way of spreading information and helping each other. I started using the hash tag #brightonmagic afterwards, as this wasn’t the most important thing in the world, but it meant the world to Edmund and it was lovely there was this happy ending. It shows there is always something we can do to help in our community.”