TEENAGER Lewis Hine was recognised at the glittering NHS Heroes Awards.
The 17-year-old, from Havant, won the Special Recognition Award for his Friend Finder project.
Attended by award winners, their families and celebrities, the ceremony in London heard the stories of people who have made a difference.
Lewis, who has epilepsy and other health problems, was among 11 winners including trauma surgeon Dr Martin Griffiths, long-serving midwife Betty Macintyre and fundraiser Lynn Lucas.
He went to the ceremony with his mum Emma and sister Jessica.
Lewis said: ‘It was a really good night and a bit of a crazy one.
‘Meeting all the other winners and hearing their stories was definitely the best part.
‘It was good meeting them and seeing all the different things they have done.’
During the course of the night, Lewis got to meet and snap pictures with a range of celebrities from singer Tinie Tempah, presenter Paul O’Grady and television stars Scarlett Moffatt, Kem Cetinay and Chris Hughes.
As previously reported in The News, Lewis set up his Friend Finder app to make friends after health issues saw him miss a lot of school.
It’s 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.
Two proms are being held this year with the first one in Portsmouth on June 1.
Lewis’s mum Emma was told in March that Lewis had won the award but organisers ITV and the Mirror wanted to keep it a surprise. They organised a family trip to Liverpool’s stadium Anfield where the news would be given to Lewis.
Emma said: ‘ITV wanted a special way to tell Lewis that he had won the award.
‘As well as supporting Pompey, he also really likes Liverpool so we were invited to do a tour around the stadium.
‘Lewis thought it was a normal trip and was really surprised when, while looking around the changing rooms, Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson walked in.
‘He then invited us to the training ground and we got to meet the players.
‘Lewis was then taken to Jurgen Klopp’s office and the manager handed him a golden envelope telling him about the NHS Heroes Awards.’
ITV will be airing the awards, held last week, in a programme tonight at 8.30pm.
Emma added: ‘The night was really good and emotional too.
‘It was amazing listening to the other winners’ stories and think that Lewis is a part of that.’