Europia Staff Team

Clare Bonetree
Consultant Project Manager
Clare Bonetree
Consultant Project Manager
I have been working in the UK voluntary sector for 20 years, in national and local organisations, including training immigration lawyers to understand psychological research about trauma, supporting people on low incomes to change government policy, and helping to make age-friendly neighbourhood projects work for minority communities. I have a particular interest in equality and diversity, and I have also been an active campaigner for disability rights, women's rights, and environmental justice. I also do resilience and hope training for people involved in social justice to help us all build community and stay healthy in the work we do. In my spare time I like to knit little woolly hats!
Ruth Mullen
Senior Immigration Advisor
Ruth Mullen
Senior Immigration Advisor
Ruth joined Europia in March 2021 and assisted the charity to achieve its current OISC 3 registration. Ruth has been working in the field of immigration law for 10 years and accumulated a wealth of experience. She is currently accredited at OISC level 3 and able to take on complex cases and appeals. She is also accredited as a Law Society senior caseworker. Ruth is passionate about making immigration law accessible to all.
Magdalena Kij
CEE Community Development Worker
Magdalena Kij
CEE Community Development Worker
community@europia.org.uk
Hi, my name is Magdalena Kij, and I'm from Cracow in Poland. I've been in Manchester since 2017. I'm a performance and visual artist, painter, and DJ. Currently, I'm studying Fine Art at the University of Salford. My background is in art, but in Manchester, I started from third sector jobs. In Europia I'm working as an Eastern and Central Community Development Worker. At the moment, I'm working mainly with the Roma community, introducing art to them. I truly believe that art is a powerful tool to connect people and improve their well-being.
Cristina Leonte-Racu
EUSS Officer
Cristina Leonte-Racu
EUSS Officer
cristina.l@europia.org.uk
Kush Chottera
CEO & Co-founder EARTS
Kush Chottera
CEO & Co-founder EARTS
kush.c@europia.org.uk
Having moved to the U.K in 2005 one of the first languages I was introduced to was Polish. Having worked in various third sector jobs including homelessness, addiction and mental health I then got trained as an ESOL teacher. I was brought into Europia as a trustee and within a short span of time led the unincorporated community group to a registered CIO. Creating a team with shared power, co-production and championing for lived experience representation is my vision. Ensuring Europia is a compassionate and effective organisation providing holistic and practical support to EU nations is my mission.
Lizzie Wilkinson
EUSS Officer
Lizzie Wilkinson
EUSS Officer
lizzie.w@europia.org.uk
Hi all, I am Lizzie. I moved to Nottingham at the beginning of lockdown 1.0. Prior to that, I lived in Wythenshawe, Greater Manchester. I work in the EUSS team supporting vulnerable citizens to complete their EUSS applications and understand their rights and responsibilities in a post-Brexit Britain. My background and experience is frontline child protection social work. I have a degree in Social Work and a master’s degree in Global Citizenship, Identities and Human Rights. I began working with Europiapart time in December 2020. However, since August 2019, I have worked in partnership with them whilst employed at Citizens Advice Bury and Bolton in their EUSS Team. I am proud to work for Europia; they offer an invaluable service to the citizens of Greater Manchester in one of the most turbulent times of a generation. The team is also incredible, they all work hard-work and go above and beyond to support one another and the people they work for. I shall be on maternity leave from October 2021 to summer 2022 as I am due to have my first child, upon my return I am eager to continue building an immigration service that puts citizens' needs first.
Marlena Wawrzenczak
Comms & Engagement Team Leader/Europia Women's Group Co-Ordinator
Marlena Wawrzenczak
Comms & Engagement Team Leader/Europia Women's Group Co-Ordinator
women@europia.org.uk
Hello, I’m Marlena. I was born in Poland, but I have lived abroad for half of my life. My journey started in 2002, when I got an opportunity to work and live in Jersey, and a couple of years after I moved to England. In 2009, my daughter was born and since then I started my adventure of maternity and freelance work in various fields, first as a mobile hairdresser and then as a graphic designer and marketing consultant. In a meantime I also worked in the office in a customer service and marketing department. I always was interested in working among communities, that’s why I also started to organise community events and gained NVQ in Equality and Diversity to better understand different cultures. For more than 10 years I have been involved in projects related to the support and development of women. I’m co-founder of BiznesMama Network CIC, which is a network of creative, resourceful, and ambitious Polish women in the UK. Thanks to the collaboration with Europia the idea of ​​creating a group for European migrant women was born. The purpose of Europia Women's Group is an integration, support and empowerment of European Women living or working in Greater Manchester, as well as cooperation with organisations that already have bespoke services for women. Currently I’m also Comms and Engagement Team Leader and occasionally I support other departments and projects. I enjoy working with Europia and I’m grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the community supporting EU nationals in Greater Manchester.
Polly Steiner
Communications and Engagement Co-ordinator
Polly Steiner
Communications and Engagement Co-ordinator
Karol Kochanowski
Volunteer Coordinator and EU Settlement Scheme Worker
Karol Kochanowski
Volunteer Coordinator and EU Settlement Scheme Worker
karol.k@europia.org.uk
Hello, I’m Karol and I was born in 1986 in Poland; I’ve been living in the UK for over 15 years now. I’ve studied Fine Art at MMU and since graduation I’ve been working as a painter. Meanwhile I got interested in volunteering as a way of expanding my skills, contacts and learning new things about the environment around me. This is how I came across of Europia in 2017 where I was establishing an European LGBTQ discussion group. My role in the organisation has been changing and evolving from the start to become a Volunteer Coordinator in the end. It’s always been natural to me to share my knowledge and skills with others, to connect people and encourage them to try new things, it felt that this role was perfect for me. My other role at Europia is to support our clients with the EU Settlement Scheme. I enjoy working with clients, helping them make their living situation easier. It’s an incredibly rewarding role. I haven’t forgotten about my artistic skills, though. I carry on producing new paintings, and taking part in curating art exhibitions. Me and other 7 creative individuals set up Europia Art Collective. So far we have organised a number of art events. Once the lockdown is over, we will get back together to surprise you with more odd and beautiful projects.
Ramona Constantin
Roma Advocacy Worker
Ramona Constantin
Roma Advocacy Worker
roma@europia.org.uk
Hi, my name is Ramona. Before Europia, I was working as regional organiser at Migrants Organise. There, I was working with Europeans, refugees and asylum seekers stopping detentions and doing campaigns to change the policy for migrants in the UK. In this job I was also working with the Roma community. At the moment, I am working as Roma Advocacy Worker at Europia. I help and give advice to the Roma people. For me helping the Roma community is important because they need someone who understands them and can give them advice which will help improve their current issues and can explain what their next steps should be to help their situation. I am doing this work because I know I am reliable and most of the Roma people know me and so it's easy for me to give the help necessary for them to improve their situations. Now I have 5 children between 3 and 17 years old. I am a happy mother and a happy person too. I believe that Europia has had a great impact on individuals within Roma community. Many of them have received the most accurate and appropriate help and advice.
Aleksander Brayanov
Salesforce Administrator
Aleksander Brayanov
Salesforce Administrator
sf@europia.org.uk
Hi, I am originally from Sofia, Bulgaria and came to the UK 5 years ago to complete a degree in Artificial Intelligence. While being in university, I also discovered my passion for digital art. Since my graduation, I have been developing both my creative and technical skills. Even though I came to this country as a student, I still needed some time to adapt to the new environment. Amazingly, organisations such as Europia offer support for people while they go through this process. I found out about Europia by becoming a member of Europia Art Collective. Soon after that, I started helping them with translation for their Bulgarian clients that require assistance. During the lockdown in the UK, I was also translating the COVID-19 guidance in Bulgarian. Since the end of 2020, I have been working on configuring Europia's new clients' system and also offer technical support when it is needed. I am glad to contribute my technical skills to a stronger Eastern European national community through my work for Europia.

Europia Volunteers

Europia Volunteers offer their time for free in return for work experience, skills development, professional development and other opportunities available at any one time. The role is interesting and varied and currently, the EU national volunteers include Hungarian, Latvian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian and Spanish people living in Greater Manchester and the UK. Thanks to all Europia Volunteers, we couldn’t do without you!

Europia Student Placements and Interns

Europia Student Placements and Interns are essential to the Europia Family just as much as the Europia Volunteers. Recently, student placements have been included in the growing Health and Wellbeing team and Interns are working across the charity, in different teams. Being a part of Europia means you get to experience a wide variety of supportive roles and an insight into the running of a charitable organisation. Thanks to all.

Europia Board of Trustees

Paul Lajszczak (appointed October 2017)

Treasurer: Adam Mitula (appointed November 2019)

Artur Bobikyan (appointed May 2021)

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