CELEBRITY chef Tony Singh has managed to raise nearly £5,000 for a Scots hospice through a charity trek to the Arctic before he has even got his snow boots on.

The restauranteur who stars in his own BBC2 television cooker show has been preparing for the expedition to help St Columba's Hospice, which he said provided "genuine care and help" to members of his own family who had suffered from cancer.

He was at the City of Edinburgh Council's Bangholm Outdoor Centre to try out some specialist equipment he will need to go on the trek in February.

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The centre has provided him with a range of equipment to keep him safe and warm during his trek where temperatures can get to as low as -40C. This has included a sleeping bag and down jacket, gloves, shell jacket, soft shell jacket, plus rucksacks and a very necessary head torch.

HeraldScotland:

It has emerged that the chef whose career has included high-profile stints at prestigious restaurants such as the Royal Yacht Britannia, the Balmoral Hotel on Princes Street and Skibo Castle in the Highlands, has already raised £4,897.59 for the cause through his online fundraising page.

He admitted that some may see that the Arctic trek was "a bit extreme" but added: "The round-the-clock support and care St Columba's Hospice provide for patients andd their families is no small feat and I wanted to do something equally worthy.

"St. Columba’s is a charity that is dedicated in providing specialist care for patients with a range of illnesses including motor neurone disease, heart and respiratory conditions, cancer and many more – and a charity that holds a very special place in my heart.

"Having had members of my own family suffer from cancer, St. Columba’s Hospice were there to provide genuine care and help to us.

"I therefore want to raise money for them because I truly believes that no one should feel powerless in the face of such pain and difficulty; I want to raise money for them because I believe in family and community and the vital importance of each."

The 46-year-old chef, who was born and raised in Leith, Edinburgh is no stranger to fund-raising for charity, but this may be the biggest challenge he has faced.

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He received an MBE for services to the food and drink industry and charity haveing supported and worked closely with Sick Kids Edinburgh, MacMillan Cancer Research, the Scottish Blood Service, Food Train, Scottish Air-Ambulance, St Columba’s Hospice and the Back Up Trust.