BIG-HEARTED teenager Lewis Hine is making sure that everyone has a friend.
The 14-year-old has had a tougher childhood than many young people.
With severe epilepsy and water on the brain, he has been in and out of hospital for many surgical procedures.
And, with no set routine and being in and out of school, it has been difficult for him to make friends.
Now he is launching his own project called Friend Finder, which aims to make sure every young person has a friend.
He is following in the footsteps of his big sister, 16-year-old Chloe Hine, who herself launched a charity called Beat The Bullies to help people who have been bullied.
Lewis has been awarded a £300 grant from mobile phone company O2 to get the scheme off the ground.
The first Friend Finder party – a Halloween-themed bash – will be held on Friday, October 30 at the offices of Beat The Bullies, in Langstone Gate, Havant.
If it proves a success Lewis plans to go back to O2 and apply for its Think Bigger Grant to hold monthly get-togethers for children in the community.
Lewis, from West Leigh, Havant, who attends Portchester Community School, said: ‘I went through a stage where I had no friends.
‘I felt alone all the time.
‘It’s not nice. You feel down every day. I now feel like I need to put something out there to help people.’
Lewis’ mum Emma Hine, 38, is very proud of what her son is doing.
She said: ‘He knows first-hand how hard it is to make friends when you spend most of your life in hospital or unable to attend school for whatever reason.
‘Children moan about school because the work is hard but school is so much more than that – it’s an opportunity to make friends, smile, learn how to interact with other children the same age.
‘Children who can’t go to school every day miss out on this vital part of life.
‘So Lewis has come up with a great idea to get children in our local community who have difficult lives through being poorly or with special needs and bring them together to make friends.’
The party takes place from 6pm to 8pm.
Emma said: ‘He is inviting children of senior school age 10 to 16 that miss a lot of school through no fault of their own and would benefit from meeting other children the same age in a similar situation.’
Anyone interested should call 07545 664784 or email emma@Beatthebullies.org.