Kettering man runner-up at Prince’s Trust award

The Prince of Wales with Dennis Mkurazhizha, 26, from Kettering, who was a runner up in a Prince's Trust young achiever award

The Prince of Wales with Dennis Mkurazhizha, 26, from Kettering, who was a runner up in a Prince's Trust young achiever award

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A 26-year-old man from Kettering reached the final three for a Royal award presented last night.

Dennis Mkurazhizha had been one of just three nominees for the Samsung Young Achiever of the Year award at the Prince’s Trust ceremony at London’s Leicester Square Odeon last night (Wednesday, March 12).

Jools Holland and Sir Ben Kingsley with Dennis Mkurazhizha, 26, from Kettering, who was a runner up in a Prince's Trust young achiever award

Jools Holland and Sir Ben Kingsley with Dennis Mkurazhizha, 26, from Kettering, who was a runner up in a Prince's Trust young achiever award

The ceremony, hosted by Ant and Dec and attended by the Prince of Wales, recognised the achievements of young people supported by the trust who have succeeded against the odds, improved their chances in life and had a positive impact on their community.

Among the celebrity guests were trust ambassadors Sir Ben Kingsley, Jools Holland and Dominic West.

Dennis was nominated for a prize which recognises young people who have struggled through difficulties to transform their lives.

He had to put up with being bullied at school because of his severe eczema, and eventually became reclusive, distancing himself from his parents.

Dennis Mkurazhizha, 26, from Kettering, is now one of just four young people from across the UK to be chosen as a finalist for a royal award at The Prince's Trust

Dennis Mkurazhizha, 26, from Kettering, is now one of just four young people from across the UK to be chosen as a finalist for a royal award at The Prince's Trust

He later moved to Kettering and turned to drink and drugs. When his grandmother died, he lost control.

He joined the 12-week Prince’s Trust team at Tresham College, leading the group’s community project, calling businesses for support, typing up fundraising letters at night and hand-delivering them the following day. He carried out a placement as a care assistant and became determined to pursue a career in social care.

At the awards ceremony Dennis said: “The Prince’s Trust and Tresham College helped me build my confidence so much on the Team programme.

“Being named runner-up for the Samsung Young Achiever of the Year Award fills me with pride and is proof of how far I’ve come over the last few years. I can’t wait for what the future holds.”

He is now studying for a degree in advanced nursing at the University of Northampton.