A nine-year-old Bolnore boy has chopped his shoulder-length locks to raise funds for charity.
Elijah Keyes has had his hair cut off despite having a huge sensory disorder linked to his autism and raised £100 for the Oasis Project based in Brighton.
Carla Sturt, Elijah’s mum, said: “Life can be very difficult for Elijah and at times he uses a wheelchair in order to cope with the world around him, but Elijah is an amazing, funny, creative and incredibly loving little boy who has a real heart to help homeless people.”
Elijah was born with autism and has an extreme sensory processing disorder, he fits a rare autism profile called pathological demand avoidance (PDA).
His condition means that the smallest of demands can send him to extreme anxiety alongside some traditional autistic traits that leave him having to have a very controlled life with his mum.
“He gives out drinks when we are shopping if he sees someone sleeping on the street and often tries to work out ways of helping people in need,” added Carla.
Elijah’s hair is a comfort to him and he had grown it out for many years. Carla explained how she had managed to get Elijah into the salon only a few times over the years with the help of a calming hairdresser.
She said: “He would scream and refuse or just find it all too much. Clippers were a no go due to the sound and vibration and so his hair just grew and grew.”
The Oasis Project sent Elijah a letter of thanks for his bravery and raising £100.
The project help women, children and families affected by problems with alcohol or drugs.
Laura Ward, member of the fundraising team, said: “It is always lovely to have support, especially from someone as amazing as Elijah.”