CELEBRITY Masterchef star Jean Johansson is urging people to join her and cook a meal in aid of the hospice - as she nurses her seriously-ill dad back to health.

The 37-year-old Port Glasgow television presenter helped launch the new Ardgowan Hospice 'Taste of Home' campaign to encourage people to sit down together and share their love of food, while donating to the hospice at the same time.

Keen cook Jean is currently using her culinary skills to help her dad John make a full recovery from pneumonia.

She was delighted to join hospice cook Janet Harrison and her husband, who needs special care after treatment for throat cancer, to launch the new drive.

Jean, who lives in Inverclyde with husband Jonatan, the Morton manager, and their son Junior, seven, said: "My dad fell seriously ill with pneumonia and ended up in high dependency in the Inverclyde Royal for two weeks.

"The staff at the IRH were just amazing and since he came out of hospital my mum and I are just feeding him up to get his weight back to normal.

"We keep making him food, it is so important.

"They are staying with us until he is better.

"So this campaign couldn't come at a better time, it is a perfect fit.

Jean says she uses food as a way to bring her family together in between her busy schedule filming on location for the hit daytime show A Place in the Sun and Jonatan's job as Tob boss.

She said: "We love to sit down to spend quality time as a family and eat a home cooked meal.

"We will be having all our family round and asking them to pop in some money for the hospice."

Ardgowan cook Janet and her husband Christopher believe the campaign can help make a real difference.

The 57-year-old has used her own experiences to help cater for the needs of patients in the hospice.

Husband Christopher was first diagnosed with throat cancer eight years ago and since then has had to have a laryngectomy, which means he is unable to swallow anything other than water and watered-down wine or coffee.

Janet, who has worked at the hospice for 12 years, said: "It took a very long time before I could even eat in front of him. I felt so guilty. Even when he could eat I had to be very creative about what and how I presented a meal."

But self-confessed foodie Christopher says that he still gets enjoyment from sitting down with family and even putting some food in his mouth just for the feel.

They are backing the Taste of Home campaign, which is encouraging as many people as possible to cook a special dinner in exchange for a small donation to help supporthe Ardgowan Hospice.

To take part call the hospice fundraising team on 726830.