Documentary following life of remarkable Havant teen set for TV release

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HE HAS been an inspiration to so many children and adults alike. Now the extraordinary story of Havant lad Lewis Hine will be hitting the small screen.

For two years, the kind-hearted 16-year-old has been running his website Friend Finder, helping lonely children to make new pals.

Lewis Hine pictured picking up his Hero of the Year Award at The News Youth Awards in 2016 

Picture: Sarah Standing (160820-1757c) PPP-170623-124129001

Lewis Hine pictured picking up his Hero of the Year Award at The News Youth Awards in 2016 Picture: Sarah Standing (160820-1757c) PPP-170623-124129001

Now his remarkable efforts – which have already garnered praise from the prime minster, Theresa May, and pop royalty, Sir Elton John – are set to be screened in a BBC documentary on Tuesday.

The 30-minute film follows the big-hearted teen as he sought to set up his first Friend Finder prom at Portsmouth’s Guildhall earlier this year.

Attended by more than 300 youngsters, the occasion gave young people who missed out on their own proms, through illness or disability, a chance to experience a magical evening of music and fun.

In an emotional exposé, the film gives a behind-the-scene look at Lewis’s struggle to help others, while battling with his own crippling condition.

Lewis with his mum Emma Hine at the first Friend Finder prom in Portsmouth earlier this year.
Picture Ian Hargreaves  (170626-1) PPP-170806-104816001

Lewis with his mum Emma Hine at the first Friend Finder prom in Portsmouth earlier this year. Picture Ian Hargreaves (170626-1) PPP-170806-104816001

‘It left me in tears watching it,’ said Lewis’s proud mum, Emma.

‘He is so brave it’s just amazing. He does so much for others.’

Lewis has spent much of his life in and out of hospital after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.

He is regularly too weak to leave his bed and suffers from painful seizures.

But despite this, the tenacious teenager refuses to be beaten and always strives to help others in need.

‘This documentary is just going to be a huge celebration for everyone involved in the prom,’ added Emma.

‘It’s a nice way to finish it all off and watch it together.’

And on Monday, Lewis is set to tour the country promoting the documentary, already securing spots on BBC Breakfast, Newsround and BBC 5 Live.

‘It’s been surreal to have so many people interested in his story,’ said Emma, who is inviting the Portsmouth community to a special screen of the programme, at The Study, in Spring Street, Portsmouth, at 6.30pm on Tuesday.

‘The reaction has just been incredible. We have had BBC, ITV and Loose Women lining up to feature Lewis.’

The family hopes that by screening the documentary they will be able to be able to spread the word about Lewis’s social action project to other lonely children.

As previously reported, Lewis hit the headlines internationally after posting a birthday video earlier this year on Facebook which went viral.

The post was shared by the likes of Sir Elton John, who personally called the courageous teen to wish him the best.

Lewis is now hard fundraising for his next batch of Friend Finder proms.

He needs to raise £50,000 to stage the two balls, set to take place next year.

For more details about Friend Finder, see lewishine.co.uk

The documentary will be screened on CBBC at 4.30pm.