Sitting still for a haircut can be a challenge for any child, but for children with autism, the experience can be traumatic and stressful.

But hairdresser Liam Hamilton goes out of his way to make sure it’s a calm and relaxed affair – and this week Cornish charity Spectrum presented him with an award to show its gratitude.

Liam, who runs Hamilton’s in Cross Street, Redruth, was given a specially-designed card and framed certificate as a thank you from Spectrum. “I almost burst into tears," he said. "It was a very touching moment.”

One of Liam’s clients is Josh Wills, 16, who is severely autistic and found having his hair cut difficult and frightening – until he went to Hamilton’s. His family and carers had tried different hairdressers before they found Hamilton’s and say the treatment Josh receives is second to none.

Shelley Cooper, from Spectrum, said: “Nothing is too much trouble for Liam. He is completely in tune with Josh, aware of his needs and takes everything into consideration. He explains what is going to happen and makes it fun. In return, Josh waits patiently and is calm and happy to have his hair cut. It used to be a different story, and we can’t thank Liam enough.”

Earlier this year Spectrum, which runs the specially-adapted house Josh lives in, launched a campaign to thank local companies that go above and beyond to support people with autism.

The first recipient of the Thank You Campaign was Polkyth Leisure Centre in St Austell, where staff have been praised for their welcoming, friendly manner and going out of their way to treat every customer as an individual.

Hamilton’s is a member of Autism Barbers Assemble, a UK-wide group of volunteers which offers advice and shares tips.

Liam said: “We offer exactly the same service to everyone – with or without autism. In my eyes, everyone deserves to be treated exactly the same.

“When Josh first started coming here he would scream and move his head a lot, which was challenging. But now he is at ease and I try to make it fun. He loves the water spray, smelling the wax and the clippers tickling his neck.”

Rachel Brown, Spectrum’s assistant head of development, said: “We are so grateful for the support of our community partners in Cornwall who go the extra mile, which makes it possible for us to do our work and enable people with autism to enjoy what Cornwall has to offer like everyone else.”