The Team

Heart & Parcel has expanded over the years growing to a dedicated and brilliant family of like-minded indviduals. Together with their wide range of skill sets, they create and provide high-quality support to people learning English to recognise, celebrate and develop their existing rich skills and knowledge, so they can communicate confidently and live fulfilling lives.

Current staff

Hafsa Mekki | Trustee & Advisor

Hafsa is a former Trinity qualified ESOL teacher with a passion for languages and a degree in Linguistics & TESOL. She is a Moss Side resident and proud Mancunian despite having lived in three different countries. Hafsa was first introduced to Heart & Parcel by her former colleague Nikki who is also one of our volunteer ESOL tutors. As a former teacher and community activist, Hafsa immediately fell in love with the concept. After following Heart and Parcel from their Supper Clubs hosted by Clare and Karolina in their hope to being awarded funding to expand their support, Hafsa is honoured to be a member of the team. Hafsa works in procurement and hopes to be able to offer both her former and current skill sets to Heart & Parcel’s inspiring range of projects.

Clare Courtney | Managing Director


Clare is an English language practitioner with over 10 years experience in the UK and China delivering English sessions to a wide range of learners with different backgrounds and reasons for learning English. Interested in inclusive and creative approaches to English language teaching rooted in social justice, Clare started Heart & Parcel in 2015 with Karolina to bring together communities through food and learning in an inclusive, engaging and informal way. Read more here.

Karolina Koścień | Co-founder & Non-Exec Director

A Polish woman, sociologist and social worker, Karolina arrived to the UK 14 years ago. Since then she has been working as a community interpreter, welfare benefit advisor, youth worker and cultural consultant for many different community based organisations in Manchester. Migration, diversity and equality have always been subjects she is passionate about and willing to explore. The Director of Heart & Parcel and an avid food lover, she is always honoured to have the chance to meet amazing women from around the world, work with them and also try their delicious food.

Hanane El Hadioui | Learner Support Coordinator

My name is Hanane, my origin is Moroccan. I lived in Italy for 17 years when I have discovered  other cultures, mentality, history, art and food then living in Manchester for 3 years was another challenge to beat because of the barrier language, so Heart & Parcel was my first sight to learn English in informal context and empower migrant and refugee to become protagonists of the life of the communities they live in. I worked with them in two projects: Rosa learner-Led Project in November 2018 and Share the Dish Project in October 2019. I am currently working on the Open Kitchens project.

During my involvement with the project I meet real friends, we shared our diversities, backgrounds, recipes and perspectives, the project was an inspiration for me to develop my ideas and future plans.

Nola Chesworth | Academic Operations Manager (Online)

Nola is a Montessori Teacher from Yorkshire living in Poland. Nola’s love of language and culture led her to discover and volunteer with Heart and Parcel in 2015. Over the last 5
years, she has watched Heart and Parcel grow into the thriving community it is today, and she is delighted to be working with the team to as they share, cook, eat and write together, from a distance. She has worked on the From Home to Home Project in June 2020 and is working with Heart & Parcel for their Online English & Cooking classes in 2021

Current Volunteers and Teachers | From Home to Home Online Project 2020

My name is Emma and I am a Secondary and Sixth Form English teacher in Manchester with a passion for words and travel in equal measure! After being introduced to the excellent work Heart & Parcel do through one of the other volunteers, Naomi, I knew immediately it was something I wanted to be involved with too. I love how Heart & Parcel encourages women to come together over their love of food in order to develop both their cookery skills and their English language proficiency. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before I can join you all in a live cooking class in Manchester!

My name is Kat. I’m a translator living in the Peak District, and I volunteer with Heart & Parcel because it combines some of my favourite things: food, languages, culture and getting to know new people! I also love that learning goes both ways at Heart & Parcel – I learn so much from the participants and the other volunteers”

My name is Laura.  I started volunteering with Heart and Parcel this year and I have loved every minute of it.  I have always been a foodie so I really enjoy learning new recipes each week alongside students from around the world. I am an ESL teacher so Heart and Parcel provides the perfect opportunity to combine my love of teaching English with my love of food!

My name is Louise and I have a passion for learning languages and tasting food from different countries! I am a secondary school Spanish teacher and have spent time living in Spain and Kenya teaching English as an additional language. I love volunteering with Heart & Parcel because the English classes encourage women to learn English through a love of cooking, and there is a real sense of community at the heart of it all!”

My name is Naomi and as a recent addition to the Learning and Development team at a Manchester housing association, I first discovered Heart and Parcel when I was in the middle of a career change from language teaching to my current position. The Heart and Parcel projects are a great opportunity to come together with women from ethnic minority communities to learn about language, culture…and to sample some delicious dishes!

My name is Sidra. I volunteer with Heart and Parcel as I love learning about different languages, cultures and customs through food. I really enjoy interacting with, supporting, sharing and learning from the learners and teachers at Heart and Parcel. Food and cooking have such special memories and stories attached, they make the experience of learning a different language a richer and more exciting experience. They make us feel more connected.

My name is Simona and I am originally from the Czech Republic. I am a big language enthusiast and I love working with people from different backgrounds. I enjoy volunteering with Heart and Parcel because I love the concept of learning through cooking together. It gives you not only the language skills but allows you to be a part of a community at the same time. As an immigrant myself I know how important it is to find a community in your new home. I hope I will be able to join some live sessions very soon!

Former Staff

Heart & Parcel Graduates

Heart & Parcel Volunteers

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