The Team

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

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Clare Courtney – Founder and Project coordinator (Education and Learning)

Clare has been English language educator for eight years. She has worked in various places both in the UK and China; in many contexts and with a wide range of learners.  Having grown up abroad in the Middle East and Asia, Clare has always enjoyed different ways of life, cooking experiences and stories. She is interested in the way women learn, socialise and offer to their communities in interesting and often unseen ways. She along with Karolina, one of her best friends, set up Heart & Parcel in 2015 to support women from migrant communities to learn English, create new recipes, make friends and share stories. She believes that women can build up support networks within and beyond their existing communities to improve not just their own well-being, but family and loved ones around them as well.

Karolina Koścień, Founder and Project coordinator (Finance and Liaison)

Karolina is a Polish woman, sociologist and social worker who arrived to the UK twelve 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. As an avid food lover and the founder of Heart & Parcel alongside her companion Clare, she wanted to create a space to meet amazing women from around the world, work with them, support them, but also try their delicious food. Being a migrant women herself, Karolina believes they have the power, skills and potential to enrich British society and be an essential part of it.

Holly Clarke – Volunteer Coordinator for Cook/Eat/Write/Share Project 2018

Holly moved to Manchester three years ago for University and is still amazed by its vibrancy, diversity, northern charm and perpetual rain. She studies Politics and International Relation with research focuses of identity and gender and also has experience working as a political data analyst. Alongside her studies she has been a keen volunteer at Heart and Parcel since 2016 and has loved engaging with the city beyond the ‘student bubble’ by sharing, cooking, and learning with inspiring women from local communities. Holly has a background in educational and social justice volunteering and believes in empowering and bringing people together in innovative ways.

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.

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Helen Grady – Volunteer ESOL tutor in training

Helen has spent most of her working life in libraries- public, voluntary and University as well as and is now working in a library in an International college. Helen is passionate about the value and pleasure of reading. In English. Working in this environment set off Helen’s interest in the teaching and learning of English and Helen has recently gained a Certificate in the Teaching of English as a Second Language; she is thrilled to be able to gain more experience of teaching English in a variety of ways by working with the Heart and Parcel project.

Marta Koścień – Supper club Supervisor

Marta is a restaurant manager at a vibrant riverside cafe in Ancoats. She has had many years experience in catering and hospitality both in the UK and in Poland. Marta joined Heart & Parcel when it started up to organise and oversee the first supper clubs and sessions. Since then she has become an essential part of the project, working closely with Karolina and Clare to realise their visions for the supper clubs, but also with the women learners to help showcase their delicious food to the general public. Her professionalism, manners and sense of humour help these events to run smoothly.


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 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.

Naomi Tattum – Volunteer Coordinator for Cook/Eat/Write/Share Project 2018

Naomi is a practising artist​ and writer​, with a range of experience in project facilitation and production. ​She works with organisations and projects that promote well-being, connecting and learning within local communities. ​Naomi believes that creativity and critical thinking can dismantle and rebuild new ways of seeing, thinking and being. ​Through initially ​volunteer​ing​ for Heart & Parcel in October 2017​, Naomi ​is delighted to be ​a part of a like-minded, empowering and committed organisation.

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Nikki Tomlinson – ESOL tutor for Cook/Eat/Write/Share Project 2018

Nikki is a CELTA-qualified EFL teacher with experience of teaching in Cambridge, Manchester and southern Spain. She first heard of Heart and Parcel online and fell in love with the charity’s work. She met Clare and Karolina at Levenshulme Market in 2015 and has been involved in volunteering at sessions, as well as attending the wonderful supper clubs! She loves the way Heart and Parcel combines language-learning, cooking and community, three of her favourite things. She is currently studying for a PhD in Spanish Cultural Studies at the University of Manchester alongside working with Heart and Parcel.





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