A GREENOCK chef who helped make 20,000 meals for people in need during the pandemic says he would do it all again for his community in a heartbeat.

Connor Harrison, 24, started volunteering at Branchton Community Centre around two weeks into the lockdown.

He dedicated two or three days each week to the project, producing around 600 meals every week for people who were struggling.

Connor, who lives in Kelly Street, decided to get involved when his mum - who works at Branchton - told him that the centre needed a chef.

From his first day in the kitchen, Connor cooked up a storm.

He said: "I used to go to the centre when I was growing up and remember it being a great place to be, so I wanted to do something to say thank you.

"The experience really was an eye opener.

"I didn't know how many people depended on services like these.

"Every day the number of people who needed our help just kept going up and up.

"The centre has always helped the Branchton community but this time around they've really gone above and beyond to support people in their time of need."

In his time in the kitchen, Connor prepared hearty fayre like pasta, soup, curry and chilli con carne and would always try to cook up a roast dinner as a treat at the weekend.

He says that the help from the Branchton team spurred him on to do a good job.

The Greenock chef is very proud to have been involved in such an important community project.

Connor added: "The atmosphere in the community centre was amazing.

"Everyone was always so cheery and welcoming.

"I feel very proud knowing that I was a help to a lot of people during these horrible times.

"I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

"I couldn't have done it without the fantastic team at the centre - Pearl, Shaun, Mick, Brandon, Lewis, Willie and Carol."

When Connor left school, he fell into a job washing dishes and took on any opportunity that came his way.

He studied at James Watt College and gained most of his cookery qualifications while he was working at Monadh Kitchen in Bearsden.

Connor was head chef at The River and in Goodbrew in Gourock before taking on a role as chef de partie at Ingliston Country Club and Hotel in Bishopton.

He says that kitchens can be stressful - but that's outweighed by his determination to make people happy with his culinary creations.

Connor added: "Kitchens are very demanding places but the job is really rewarding.

"The best part for me is knowing that I have made someone's day or night by cooking for them.

"I love working with the best ingredients and always push myself further as a chef."