Tom West is a talented artist producing stunning cross-stitch pictures of almost photographic quality.
The 26-year old is an avid collector of memorabilia, he has raised hundreds of pounds for charity and like many men his age has a passion for motorbikes. He also has autism.
This week Tom invited the Chad along to see an amazing display of Christmas lights he has painstakingly put up at his room at a residential care home in Mansfield.
He loves the festive season so much he has spent hours turning his room at Redcliffe House Redcliffe Road, into a Christmas grotto with 500 sparkling lights.
His grandmother Thelma Elliott, 85 said: “Tom loves Christmas and he has spent the past two or three weeks putting up his tree and lights and decorations.
“Everyone who has seen his room has been impressed with it although he is quite shy he was more than pleased when the Chad came along.”
“Tom’s autism means he is a very shy person - but he has talents and abilities which are quite extraordinary.
“He has tremendous eye for detail.”
Tom has collected the lights over recent years and regularly visits charity shops and discount stores hunting for glittery bargains to add to his collection.
One of his passions is collecting anything with a Coca-Cola theme and he has hundreds of bottles, glasses, different labels and promotional items from the soft drink firm.
On the walls in his scrupulously tidy room are cross-stitch pictures he has spent hours creating.
Mrs Elliott added:“I think in years gone by people didn’t understand autism. We had lots of incidents when Tom was growing up and people thinking he was just having tantrums. But he is a lovely lad and can get along with anyone.
“These days people are more aware and realise people with autism have real gifts and talents. He is absolutely brilliant at needlework and never makes a mistake. He has done hundreds of cross stitch pictures and they are unbelievable. He has had great support from everyone at Redcliffe House and he has found a real home for himself there.”
Tom will be spending Christmas itself with his family in Sheffield and when he returns he will pack away the decorations ready for next year.
Raj Amony, service manager at Redcliffe House, where Tom is a long-term resident said: “Tom is a very active person - he has done loads of fundraising for charity,
“He recently did a 48-mile walk and every year he raises money when it is Autism Awareness Week.
“He loves Christmas, Halloween and Easter and decorates his room differently for each one.
“He never gets over excited - he just enjoys each occasion and he likes to show people what he has done.”