Celebrities including Nick Grimshaw and an Apprentice star help make Lewis' big prom go with a bangÂ
IT WAS a spectacular evening as young people from across the country attended a prom organised by Havant teenager Lewis Hine.Â
He hosted the first Friend Finder prom in London last night, with 100 guests attending the black-tie event at Google and YouTube.Â Lewis, 17, said he was excited to see how much the proms have grown since the first one was held in Portsmouth two years ago.Â Radio One DJ Nick Grimshaw made a special guest appearance after meeting Lewis a few years ago and having him on his show. Other guests included one of his year'sÂ ApprenticeÂ contestant Kayode Damali andÂ Jennie JacquesÂ from television showÂ The Vikings. Lewis, a student at Havant and South Downs College, said: 'The whole night was amazing. I had mixed emotions beforehand because we have been planning itÂ for a year and you want it to go well.Â 'Everyone seemed really excited for it and it is amazing to think we were able to hold a Friend Finder prom in London and at YouTube.Â 'It has grown so much since the first one in Portsmouth and it is great to be able to continue to holdÂ these events. 'It is all thanks to the support from my community and businesses in the Portsmouth area who continue to help.'
'I have never been to one before so it is amazing to be able to come and see one,' he toldÂ The News.
'This is a movement that is very important and it is really generous of everyone involved to give up their time to do this.
'School can be hard enough, especially when you are going through something hard. For Lewis to think of others and do this is incredible.
'It really resonated with me.'
Lewis thanked Nick for coming along and added: 'He has always been so supportive. He is so happy and joyful that you want someone like him to be around at a prom.' The night had dinner, music, dancing and entertainment for the young adults all of which would have missed their regular prom. Beforehand, doctors and nurses were invited to a champagne event as a thank you for all the hard work they do.
People from businesses who have helped were also invited.
That included Gary Robinson, of Aura Gas Ltd in Havant, and Steve Mullins, of Action Coach Portsmouth. They helped transport items to London.
Gary said: 'We have always been happy to support Emma and Lewis. To come here and see what he does is amazing .'
Families travelled from across the country for the prom including from Leicester, Hastings and Sheffield. Francesca Mitten, 15, came down from York with her mum Alison Hume. Francesca has anxiety and doesn't attend mainstream school. She said: 'At first I wasn't too bothered about missing my prom but when I heard about the FriendÂ Finder event I realised how much I wanted to go. 'I was stunned when I received the invitation, I couldn't believe it. It is a dream come true.Â 'It was so good to pick the dress and have my hair and make-up done.' Mum Alison added: 'What Lewis is doing is amazing. He has given Francesca the chance to be a princess for the day.'
As previously reported, Lewis set up his Friend Finder app to make friends after health issues, including epilepsy and a brain tumour,Â saw him miss a lot of school.
The Friend FinderÂ success saw him help hundreds of youngsters across the country form friendships. That later progressed into last year's first Friend Finder prom where teenagers who missed their own prom could attend.