Why dumplings? why women? Why ESOL? Why supper clubs?

After three years of running our project, it is really important to reflect on why we decided to set up. The post below sets out the background research we did relating to women from communities who access ESOL provision. It also displays our attempts to fund raise to keep these sessions going.

Why Dumplings? Dumplings are interesting as they appear in almost every culture but differ in shape and filling. The process of making dumplings requires teamwork, a long period of time and many conversations in between.

At Heart & Parcel, we view dumplings as a powerful metaphor. Continue reading “Why dumplings? why women? Why ESOL? Why supper clubs?”


Recipe for Success with 4Lunch – Heart & Parcel Founders talk dumplings and community projects.

From 4Lunch’s website:

Discover what it takes to run your own food business at 4Lunch’s Recipe for Success events for aspiring foodies, entrepreneurs and community projects in Manchester.

The food and drink scene is thriving and there are many opportunities to get a slice of the action. Come along to find out exactly what it takes to start your own food project from people who’ve made it a success!

In Making it as a community food project, we will be in conversation with Karolina & Clare, the founders of Heart & Parcel, a project bringing migrant women together and helping them improve their English through the making of delicious dumplings from around the world.

Continue reading “Recipe for Success with 4Lunch – Heart & Parcel Founders talk dumplings and community projects.”

Past Reflections of an ESOL tutor

This was an excerpt from a piece of reflective writing  written back in July 2015 by founder and then ESOL tutor, Clare. Although written a while ago, she has decided to share this to contribute to the ongoing conversation of the direction for ESOL provision, and to shed light on the beginnings of the ideology behind Heart & Parcel.

I just finished working for all my ESOL jobs today. It has got me reflecting on a lot of different things. what worked, what didn’t, why, what happened and why.

I mentioned about my recent project leading an ESOL parenting course in an earlier entry. Already facilitating such a class was strange as I know very little about parenting, not having children of my own.

Continue reading “Past Reflections of an ESOL tutor”

Shamima’s Khund Barriyaan (Vg)

We were so grateful to have a cooking workshop with our dear student last week. Ex-teacher Shamima learnt how to make this delicious vegan Pakistani dish from her sister-in-law, Bashira Razaaq, back in Mandi Bahauddin where she grew up. She taught us in our Creative ESOL sessions at Levenshulme Old Library, where we learn English language in creative ways. We now want to pass it on to you. It is delicious and can be eaten fresh or kept in the fridge to be reheated for a few days. The spices are all available in local Asian stores across the country. Take a trip to your local worldwide food store and have an explore by buying the spices to make this new dish! These spices are also used widely in South East Asian and Indian cooking so hopefully it will inspire you to continue exploring the culinary delights of these countries.

Continue reading “Shamima’s Khund Barriyaan (Vg)”

Setting up a community project: our experiences

As we have passed into our 3rd year running Heart & Parcel, we find ourselves looking back fondly at the work we have done, the women we have met and the hundreds of dumplings we have made (and eaten).

Over the years it has been really exciting to see that we have inspired so many others to create and set up their own ventures with cooking, dumplings or creative ESOL. In the past, we have had requests for how to embed English into cooking and how to set up a supperclub, which we have responded to by writing blogs and giving sample lesson plans here and here.

Continue reading “Setting up a community project: our experiences”

Messamen مسمن Hanane’s Moroccan Parcels

This week for our creative ESOL & Cooking class at Levenshulme Old Library, our student and dear friend Hanane kindly showed us how to make the delicious Messamen (مسمن), a traditional pancake-like bread stuffed with meat, vegetables and aromatic herbs. Hanane informed us that this bread is usually eaten in the morning or in the afternoon with guests, but always has to be served with Moroccan tea or coffee. That’s a requirement! We would love to share the recipe with you as it is so easy, so versatile yet looks impressive once it is cooked!


Continue reading “Messamen مسمن Hanane’s Moroccan Parcels”

Dumpling Lessons: The importance of learner centred sessions.

When we do our private workshops  we know our structure very well. We come in, make our coffees, set up the space. We unpack our ingredients, get out pots, pans and rollers, attach our badges to the aprons, place the water on the stove to boil and await the arrival of our participants. These actions are satisfyingly familiar to us. However, the shape of the sessions as a result of the characters that enter the room is the surprise. What each participant brings remains the most exhilarating part of Heart & Parcel.

Continue reading “Dumpling Lessons: The importance of learner centred sessions.”

ESOL & Cooking Lesson Plan

We thought we would share this lesson plan we have used about three times now with different groups. This is an all round lesson we have created that covers many skills. It works very well with group work and building conversation. More specifically for literacy and numeracy, this lesson familiarises learners with nouns,  adjectives, verbs, spelling, quantities and process adverbs. For well-being purposes, it gets participants chatting, working together to create something, and the cookies are pretty delicious for open conversation at the end.

Materials needed:

Continue reading “ESOL & Cooking Lesson Plan”

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑