Having bones so weak she can snap her pelvis from simply standing incorrectly has not stopped this Eltham woman from being a successful businesswoman.

At 18 years old Lauren Pavey was confined to a wheelchair due to arthritis, but she fought back and opened a pet salon in Eltham.

Now 27 and moving with the help of crutches and 14-15 different types of medication, her business is booming seven years after it opened and has more than 3,000 customers.

Her hard work was rewarded after she won the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for 2017 at the Thames Gateway Business Awards.

It wasn’t long ago that Lauren thought she would never be able to achieve something like this due to her rheumatoid arthritis, even when she got out of her wheelchair and onto crutches.

She said: “It affects every joint in my body including my jaw. Last year I stood on a rug and broke my pelvis.

“I was 18 when it got really, really bad. My mum and dad helped carry me up the stairs when I was young to get on the bed, even down to getting me dressed. If I didn’t have them I would be sitting in a bedsit.”

She used to commute to work but being either on crutches or confined to a wheelchair made that incredibly difficult, and she had noticed there was a gap in the market for a pet salon in Eltham.

She said: “I used to work in TV editing but the commute was terrible and you never get in on the train.

“I always knew there was a gap in the market for animal shops. From having the idea it was about six months until it opened and everything seemed to happen.

“I have seven people working for me now and I have 3,152 customers altogether.”

Her pet salon, The Doghouse, does everything from simple nail clippings for dogs to more elaborate hairdos, bows and costumes for pets.

While Lauren is still hopeful that one day there will be new drugs available via the NHS that can help with her condition, she is still hugely thankful to everyone that helped get her this far.

She said: “Went I went up to get on stage at the awards show, I didn’t know what to say, so now I would like to thank my staff and my mum and dad for what they have done for me.”