Havant teenager recognised for being hero at awards night
HE'S already been named a hero in The News and now the rest of the country knows of his star quality after Lewis Hine won a top national award.
The 15-year-old was presented with a Radio 1 Teen Award at Wembley Arena.
He was joined on stage by the likes of artists The Vamps and Shawn Mendes, radio host Nick Grimshaw and Olympic gold medallist Max Whitlock.
Lewis won Hero of the Year for his work on Friend Finder which he launched a year ago this week.
The website aims to make sure every young person has a friend by organising different events for them to go to.
Not only did Lewis set up the project but he did so despite his health issues which have seen him in and out of hospital since a young age.
Missing school and having no set routine meant he was not able to make a lot of friends so he set up the project for other young people like him.
Lewis, from Havant, said: ‘Getting the award was something I never thought would actually happen.
‘I didn’t think I would get to go on stage and even be in the top four for the award. I was up against other fantastic people.
‘The whole day was brilliant, I really enjoyed myself. It was a different experience.
‘I’m proud that I was able to push through and keep going with Friend Finder. Next, I have a halloween party planned and something for Christmas.’
Before the awards evening, Lewis was invited to meet the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Kensington Palace.
He added: ‘Meeting the Royal family was great fun.
‘I never thought I would have the chance to meet them, let alone be invited to Kensington Palace.’
Lewis’ family went to the awards on Sunday and mum Emma said she was proud of him.
‘The whole event was fantastic – it was amazing,’ she said.
‘I don’t think anyone realised what the reaction to Lewis would be like.
‘I’m so proud of him. When you see what he goes through every day it makes you appreciate just how hard it is for him.
‘So for someone to recognise that hard work is just amazing.’
BBC 1 Radio 1 presenter Nick Grimshaw said: ‘From his fundraising efforts, to his work in bringing young people together, Lewis is a big inspiration.
‘He has a unique story, has been through so much and is truly deserving of the Teen Hero award.’
Lewis is not the only one in his family to help others.
His older sister Chloe started a charity called Beat the Bullies. She turned to making music as a way to express herself and now helps other children in the same way.
Both Chloe and Lewis have won at The News’ Youth Awards for their hard work and dedication. In 2015, Chloe won Music Star while Lewis was named Hero of the Year this year.
Chloe and Lewis along with their sister Jessica also had the Hine Award created for them by the O2 Think Big Digital Awards.