Friend Finder Prom
Hi my name is Lewis and I am now 16 years old! (I was 15 when I started fundraising lol)
I was diagnosed with a brain tumour at 17 months old. Since then I have had over 13 brain surgeries to keep me well. I know my condition cannot be cured but that wasnt my biggest challenge in life for me it was not having any friends.
Spending a large part of my life in hospital meant that I missed a ot of school. Schoo isnt just about education its also about learning how to interact with other and making friends.
Having a friend is so important in life. Someone to talk to, laugh with and spend time with. A friend its great for your mental health and well being. Everyone should have a friend.
Knowing first hand how difficult it is for children that spend a lot of time away from school through sickness or disability I decided to do something about it and I created Friend Finder www.lewishine.co.uk
Friend Finder is a project set out to help young people of any age who like me find it hard to make friends because they miss school. At friend finder we have events which bring children together and make friends. We have even introduced an onine friendfinder world for the children to be able to talk to each other afterwards in a safe envirement,. We also use little gadgets with near field communication for the children to exchange their details as we know another part of being poorly and missing school is that you can find it hard to read and write.
Our events are held monthly. After running focus groups one thing that really became obvious very quickly was the older children we help aged 15-19 had missed their school prom because thet were too poorly or had too many additional needs that would need accomodaing so I decided to through the first ever Friend Finder prom!
On 2nd June 2017 we are having the first ever Friend Finder Prom for 150 children across the country aged 15-19 that missed or will this year miss their school prom due to illness, disability or a social factor out of their control like they didnt have a friend to go with.
The amazing thing is that the Prom is being organised by young people aged 12-19 who have been previously helped by Friend Finder. Its a Prom for young people organised by young people. Its an incredible project tto work on and e part of but we need your help....
We are raising money to create this amazing evening for so many children to enjoy and create a night they will always remember. We are contcting schools, hospitals, community groups and have a arge social media campaign asking for people to nominate children that fit the friend finder criteria and would like to finally go to a prom.
The £15000 we are raising will go purely on the cost of things like food, drinks , location hire, security to keep the childre safe, decoration and invitations. We need to raise the money by the end of April so we really need your help.
All of the Friend Finder volunteers organising this event are donating their time for free.
Raising. this money would mean everything to us as it will enable us to give these amazing young people something to ook forward to, a memory they will cherish forever and for me personally to see so many vulnerble childreen come together and be able to make friends at such an amazing event as the Prom will make me feel like I have made a difference.
I know my life is challenging, brain surgery, daily seizures and constantly feeling poorly and I guess I could be feeling sorry for myself but thats not who I am. I am a 15 year old boy determined to work hard and prevent other children having the same problem I did of not having a friend, someone to talk to, someone to laugh with. Please help me create this Prom and help 150 other children make friends and have the prom they missed out on and never though they would have.
Any money raised over the amount needed for the Prom will go towards making Frend Finder accessible all over the world so we can bring as many chidren together to make friends.
"Everyone needs a friend" - lewis hine
Well done Lewis, have a truly wonderful prom with all your friends :-)xx
Saw you on Facebook Lewis. Happy birthday and loads of luck with the fund raising. Donation made from this Aussie!
You are an amazing young man happy birthday and I hope you continue to have the very best of health and happiness for the future
Sending you my very best wishes in reaching your target , and a healty future xxx