Ben Francis, a director of DHH (Timber Products) Ltd and EC Griffiths & Co Ltd, has completed a gruelling trek across the Arctic to raise more than £4,500 for an Essex Hospice.

Mr Francis joined 11 other trekkers in Raftlaven in northern Sweden to learn the skills needed to survive eight days in the harsh, sub-zero conditions.

„With only limited survival rations we learnt how to trap, hunt, firelight, shelter build, as well as some more fun activities such as cross-country skiing, husky sleighing and ice-hole fishing,“ said Mr Francis.

„Night temperatures dropped to -35ºC and during our week we had to sleep out in our own-built shelters. The only pleasure came at the end of the week with our first wash in a traditional Swedish hot tub!“

Many trade suppliers and associates supported Mr Francis’s trek in aid of St Luke’s Hospice in Basildon. Anyone who wants to donate can do so at until July 30.