Waterlooville teen to stage benefit concert for Lewis Hine’s Friend Finder after charity’s prom ‘changed her life’
GOING to Lewis Hine’s Friend Finder prom drastically changed her life for the better.
Now Megan Wilson will stage a concert in aid of the Havant charity to help bring other young people battling serious illness out of isolation.
The 19-year-old from Waterlooville has autism and four years ago began suffering from seizures which can strike 30 times-a-day and last an hour-and-a-half.
But after ‘a lot of doors closed' because of her health, an invite to the inaugural Friend Finder party at Portsmouth Guildhall in 2017 opened many more.
‘It changed my life,' she said.
‘I now have friends that I wouldn't have met anywhere else, with conditions like mine, who I can relate to.’
She added: ‘I’ve put this [concert] on because it’s a good way of making money, entertaining people and spreading awareness of this charity and what good they’re doing.’
Inspirational Havant teen Lewis Hine, now a friend of Megan's, launched the Friend Finder prom two years ago and it has since grown to London and Birmingham.
In staging her benefit gig at the Springwood Community Centre on March 30, Megan hopes to play a part in spreading the charity's vital offer of inclusion to youngsters who like her were unable to attend their own school proms because of illness.
‘It’s really important for children to be interacting with other kids, especially ones with health problems like theirs because they understand what they’re going through,' she said.
‘If you’ve spent a lot of time in hospital like I have you don’t get the socialisation like you do at school.
‘That’s why Friend Finder is such an important charity to support – because it brings those people together.'
Megan hopes to perform a musical theatre number at her concert, which will welcome a host of local musical talent including campaigner Chloe Hine, Lewis’ sister.
Music will span from pop to country and a total of 100 tickets to the show are up for grabs at a cost of £5 per adult and £2.50 for revellers aged 14 and under.
‘I’m absolutely raring to go – I can’t wait for it to happen,' Megan said.
‘There’s going to be lighting and a sound system so it’ll be like a professional show.’
In a touching message, Lewis Hine himself has given the show his backing.
The 17-year-old, who also experiences seizures, said: ‘When Megan called to say she was organising a fundraiser to say thank you I was in shock – what an amazing thing to do.
‘The first time I met Megan was when she came to pick a prom dress and she was so excited. She picked a big purple ball gown and she didn’t stop smiling.
‘I’m so glad Megan enjoys Friend Finder and she certainly is one of my friends now too.’
Megan’s concert will take place at the Springwood Community Centre in Waterlooville at 3pm on March 30.
To reserve a ticket, call Megan on 07399 742 060 or email [email protected]