A CHEF will be swapping his pots and pans for his walking boots next year when he climbs Africa’s highest mountain.

Ian Curbishley, 32, who works at Cranford Cafe in Canute Place, Knutsford, is to raise money for the British Red Cross by tackling 5,895-metre Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

“I saw an advert and thought it was one of those once-in-a-lifetime things, and I’ll be helping someone,” he said.

“I’m not unfit and I’ve quit smoking for this, but the running I’ve been doing is still quite hard. I’m getting into it, but it’s about sorting out a routine.

“I’ve been running a couple of nights a week, 10 miles a time, we’ll be going up Snowden as well to do some walks, and as time goes on I’ll be doing some harder training.”

Ian, who lives in Shaw Heath, hopes to hit his fundraising target of £3,950 by the time he sets off for Africa on September 11, 2013.

He has bag packing planned in the town, and will be staging street collections in Knutsford, Northwich and Altrincham over the next year.

“My mates have been really good and have been trying to help me along,” he said.

“The support that I’ve had off the public so far has also been great.

“I’m not looking forward to the altitude sickness and I’ve been told it is not nice. Most of all I’m looking forward to the challenge and the main aim is raising awareness of the Red Cross, as they do a lot of good close to home, not just abroad.”

To sponsor Ian visit his donation page below.