The Team

Heart & Parcel has expanded over the years, growing to a dedicated and brilliant family of women. Together with their wide range of skill sets, they create and provide high-quality support to women from migrant communities.

Current staff

Karen Clarke Trustee & Advisor

Karen is a project manager by profession but is passionate about all things community related. She has lived in Levenshulme for 26 years after moving to Manchester from her home county of Essex to go to University to study Social Policy. Since graduating Karen has had a succession of jobs related to community projects as well as volunteering. Karen first became involved with Heart & Parcel through her last role at Levenshulme Inspire, where she was Business Development Manager. Karen was captivated by the ethos of Heart & Parcel and how it moved away from a traditional classroom based approach to learning. And she loves Clare and Karolina’s dedication and drive for what they do. Karen was delighted to become a Trustee and is currently focused on sourcing funding and networking opportunities as Heart & Parcel continues to grow.

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 Director & Co-founder

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

Karolina Koścień Director & Co-founder

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.

Lisa Howarth Volunteer & Project Manager

With a background in the education and charity sectors and a passion for helping people, Lisa joined Heart and Parcel as a volunteer on the “Share the Dish” project. Having spent time living and working abroad, Lisa has gained experience teaching English and an understanding the challenges of moving to a foreign country integrating into a new community. She now joins Heart and Parcel as a Project and Volunteer Manager, working alongside Clare and Karolina to deliver the 2020 Refugee Action project.

Former Staff

Heart & Parcel Graduates

Heart & Parcel Volunteers

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