TWO unsung heroes from Wirral have been nominated for a top community crown at this year's Autism Gold Awards.

Tesco security guard in Bebington James Larkman and hairdresser Tracey Lewis have both been nominated to win the 'Community Hero' award which aims to recognise those who help people on the autism spectrum.

The pair have been nominated by members of the public for their 'outstanding' services to the autism community and are in the running to receive the award from Wirral charity Autism Together on November 2 at the Shankly Hotel.

James was nominated after a stepping in when a young man with autism was feeling anxious outside Tesco and people were laughing at him. James stepped in, took the young man under his arm and walked him home.

Now James is a family friend and often takes his new pal to football matches.

James said: “I was overwhelmed to be nominated really, I wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary I was just doing my job.

"It’s really nice to be thought of and I’m so excited to be attending the event to meet everyone else who has been shortlisted.”

Owner of Alcatraz Barbers in Bromborough village, Tracey was nominated by a support worker at Autism Together for going the 'extra mile.'

For two decades Tracey has cut hair of people on the autism spectrum and often goes to people's homes to cut their hair if they are not so confident in going out into the community.

Tracey told the Globe: "I thought I’d won the lottery; it was totally unexpected.

"I’ve been working with Autism Together for 20 years and I’m so honoured to be shortlisted.

"It’s an absolute pleasure and I hope whoever wins will take this award and use it to continue supporting the autism community.”

Held to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Autism Together, the awards are the first of their kind in Merseyside.

Other categories include Lifetime Achievement, Staff Excellence and Autism Champion of Champions.

Chief executive of Autism Together Robin Bush said: “It’s been such a great pleasure hearing all these wonderful stories about everyday heroes.

"Although we’ll be revealing one overall winner on Friday night at our gala ball and awards ceremony at the Shankly hotel, in our eyes they are all heroes.”