PARTYGOERS say they are ‘incredibly grateful’ to a kind teenager who has given them the prom night of a lifetime.
Teenager Lewis Hine, founder of Friend Finder, organised a prom night at Portsmouth Guildhall for people using the Friend Finder app, their friends and families – as well as many others who were invited to the evening.
Hundreds of people attended the event in the city centre last night – and have thanked Lewis for the opportunity to have a prom night after many missed out on their school ones during the year – either due to physical illness or mental health problems.
Callum Austin, 17 from Leigh Park, said: ‘It feels amazing to be here – so many people miss out on their prom at school which is a real shame.
‘To see all the great work that Lewis and his mum have done for other people is wonderful.
‘They have made sure that everyone has an evening where they can just enjoy themselves.’
Shannon Purcifer, 17 from Gosport, had her own prom last year after skipping her school event due to bullying.
She said: ‘It feels good to be here and it’s important that things like this happen.
‘There are people with mental health problems or who are bullied that don’t get the chance to relax, so it’s great that there is something like this for them.’
Kurtis Stallard, 16 from Portchester, said: ‘I’m here with quite a few friends tonight.
‘It’s nice to spend the evening together because we don’t get to do that very often, so I think we are all feeling incredibly grateful.’
Danny Harner, mentor at Harbour School in Portsmouth, said: ‘We have around 16 people from the school here tonight.
‘Some of these people have some anxiety issues so to all be invited and spend the evening together is great.’
Lewis says the event shows how big Friend Finder has become – but is just glad he could put on the event for other people.
He said: ‘We have 150 young people here and it feels amazing to do something like this for them.
‘To have so many people here meeting each other is just incredible.’