A teenager who set up her own business inspired by her work as a young carer has been nominated as a role model for young people.

Lucia Lewis-Janes, 17, became a young carer at the age of just 11 after her mother, Ebony Vincent-James, broke her back in a serious car accident.

Despite having to take on most of the housework and cooking, the Leyton teenager developed her own hair care range and set up a business, Lucia Loves, aged 14. She has now been nominated in the age category in The National Diversity Awards 2019.

Her mother, Ebony Vincent-Janes, is urging people to support Lucia, who she described as "a positive role model".

One of the things her mother had done for Lucia was to look after her thick afro hair, and she now found she had to look after her own hair and that of her little brother.

The budding scientist began experimenting with household products to use on her hair.

She said: "I would mix them together in the blender, much to my Mum's dismay, and put them in spray bottles to test out, although to no ones surprise they weren't very effective!

"I soon learned the importance of using natural products and found there was a community of people navigating natural hair, just like me.

“My Mum brought me some raw organic ingredients and we worked together to develop the first product in my range, 'Melting Joy'. I gave it to my friends and family to test out, it was a hit!

"Two years later, I have a range of eight organic, cruelty free products, including the Calm Balm with lavender that I made last year to help me when I was struggling with my GCSE stress."

Lucia hopes to make her products available in the high street.

She added: "My next goal in business is to get official certifications & barcodes to be able to sell my products in shops, before I finish college!

"I hope to be an inspiration to other people who are thinking of starting their own business, with the message that age should never be a limiting factor!"

The National Diversity Awards are designed to celebrate and recognise inspiring individuals and groups from grass roots communities. Nominations close on May 31.

To support Lucia visit https://nationaldiversityawards.co.uk/nominate/22215/.

The award ceremony will take place at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral on September 20.