Europia Staff Team

Kush Chottera
CEO
Kush Chottera
CEO
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.
Karol Kochanowski
Operations Manager
Karol Kochanowski
Operations Manager
karol.k@europia.org.uk
I’m Karol, I'm Polish and have been living in the UK for over 15 years now. I’ve studied Fine Art at MMU and since graduation I’ve been working freelance 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 Europia in 2017 where I was establishing a European LGBTQ discussion group. Since then I have taken a number of roles in the organisation: community development and events organiser, immigration advisor, office manager, volunteers coordinator and most recently operations manager. I haven’t forgotten about my artistic ambitions, though. I carry on producing new paintings, exhibiting and curating art exhibitions. Back in 2019, me and seven other creative individuals set up Europia Art Collective which was a success. Lately, I'm working on re-launching the Europia Art & Culture department sometime in 2023. Stay tuned!
Marlena Wawrzenczak
Partnership and Communications Manager
Marlena Wawrzenczak
Partnership and Communications Manager
marlena.w@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. After a couple of years of my freelance collaboration with Europia (in graphic design and marketing field) I became Comms and Engagement Team Leader, and occasionally I supported other departments and projects. Recently my passion for connecting people and creating long-term relationships was recognised and I became Partnership and Communications Manager, and that came with a lot of opportunities for self-development. I enjoy working with fantastic people in Europia and I’m grateful that I can contribute to support European communities in Greater Manchester.
Cristina Leonte-Racu
Service Manager
Cristina Leonte-Racu
Service Manager
cristina.l@europia.org.uk
Hi, I’m Cristina. I moved to the UK in 2016 from Moldova. I started my journey in Europia during the pandemic as a volunteer translator, and my role has evolved over time. Being a migrant myself, I find it easier to understand the real day-to-day struggles and the cultural particularities of the people we are working with. Therefore, supporting people has become one of my aspirations.
Iryna Oliynyk
Office Co-ordinator
Iryna Oliynyk
Office Co-ordinator
iryna.o@europia.org.uk
Hi, I am Iryna Oliynyk. I am Ukrainian and I moved to the UK in April 2022. I had been working as an English language teacher at the university for more than twenty years. I have experience in teaching different English-related subjects, working with students from various backgrounds and nurturing people’s interest in pursuing career goals and living in a diverse world. I am still involved in educational projects run for Ukrainian educators who keep working in the war-torn cities all over Ukraine. On the voluntary basis, I joined Europia in August 2022 and learned what issues people from different cultures might encounter while living in the UK. I see how helpful Europia’s staff about supporting vulnerable migrant communities, how responsible they are in dealing with every individual case. I learned how much work and efforts it takes to analyze data, study various circumstances, offer best solutions and approach each life story with care and respect. This is something that I would be happy to do being part of a bigger Europia team. I am an avid reader and a bookmark collector. I have passion for travelling and translating books for children and young adults.
Dima Kulyk
Volunteer Coordinator
Dima Kulyk
Volunteer Coordinator
dima.k@europia.org.uk
Hi my name is Dima. I hold a Master's degree in International Relations. I embarked on my professional journey as a project assistant in Brussels for Women Political Leaders (WPL), an organization dedicated to enhancing the representation and influence of women in political leadership roles. I then transitioned to the role of project assistant, where I successfully implemented a "Well-Being Index" for young people across 33 cities in Ukraine. This initiative was led by the United Nations Population Fund. Since 2021, I held the position of program manager at NGO Teenergizer. In this role, I focused on strengthening the organization's capacity through close collaboration with volunteers and activists, donors and partners, including the Office of the First Lady of Ukraine.
Elena Chivyska
Health and Wellbeing Project Worker
Elena Chivyska
Health and Wellbeing Project Worker
elena.c@europia.org.uk
Hello, I am Elena. I was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, and moved to the UK in 2012. I lived all over the North West until I settled in Salford in 2020. My background is in psychology, social work, and advocacy. I graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Forensic Psychology and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Criminal Justice.  I have over three years of experience working in the healthcare sector, supporting individuals with varying mental health conditions. I joined Europia’s Health and Wellbeing department in June 2022. I am working hard to support the most vulnerable and hard-to-reach communities within Greater Manchester while educating and empowering individuals to better understand and reduce the stigma around mental health.  I feel very proud to be part of such a fantastic and hard-working team that cares deeply about the people they support. I cannot wait to continue my journey of supporting the Central and Eastern European communities.
Honor Johnstone
Fundraising Coordinator Aprentice
Honor Johnstone
Fundraising Coordinator Aprentice
honor.j@europia.org.uk
Hi, my name is Honor. I am a recent graduate of the University of Edinburgh, where I studied Social Anthropology. I began working for Europia in the role of Business Development and Research Worker in September 2022. I am currently a graduate trainee, part of the CharityWorks graduate scheme. I feel very proud to be part of such a hard-working team and to contribute to the meaningful support Europia provides.
Tilda Salanki
Health and Wellbeing Roma Project Worker
Tilda Salanki
Health and Wellbeing Roma Project Worker
tilda.s@europia.org.uk
My name is Tilda, I was born in Romania, close to Hungarian border so I learned to talk three languages from very young ages. I grew up in a house without electricity (Using petrol lamp only for about 14 years of my life they had to prepare our chores before the night came down. My Mum never had the chance to go to school but she was a fighter and a strong woman, and she showed me that if you really want something you have to fight ‘till you get it) so instead of having TV I had books, loads of books. Obviously I got in love with them and the new world they showed me so because of these books I wanted to learn more and more about this world and its people. So I became a student, then a wife. No, the wife was the first, then moved to a lovely city called Oradea where I met lovely and great people that showed me the life over racial discrimination and stereotypes. Five years of studies in Psychology definitely made me understand the human behaviour a bit better. I became a teacher and a Learning Specialist at several Charities involving children and students. Also together with two other friends - Psychologist, we have decided to create a Team Friendship - a charity providing counselling and after school to students. In 2016 me and my husband decided to change climate and moved to UK and I am ready to start my new journey with Europia.
Lizzie Wilkinson
Immigration Team Leader and Safeguarding Lead
Lizzie Wilkinson
Immigration Team Leader and Safeguarding Lead
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.
Jwana Faraj
Immigration Adviser
Jwana Faraj
Immigration Adviser
jwana.h@europia.org.uk
My name is Jwana, I am originally form Iraq and moved to the UK in 2011. I am a graduate from the University of Bangor where I achieved an LLM in Law (Masters) and I am an accredited Immigration Caseworker. My work experience has included roles where my ability to support clients to identify and overcome challenges and barriers has been vital. I am resilient and organised and have the personal experience of entering the UK as a refugee and of studying and working towards my goal of combining my desire to work effectively with people to improve their chances in life.
Diana Brivniece
Generalist Adviser
Diana Brivniece
Generalist Adviser
diana.b@europia.org.uk
My name is Diana. I am from Latvia. I came to England many years ago and fell in love with the Country and its people. I always enjoyed helping people with practical advice to make their life in the UK easier especially for new arrivals. I will be happy to contribute my skills and knowledge gained from welfare advice and support training programmes to Europia.
Goda Karinauskaitė
Ukraine Data Specialist
Goda Karinauskaitė
Ukraine Data Specialist
goda.k@europia.org.uk
Hi, my name is Goda, and I am from Lithuania. I joined Europia as a volunteer in March 2021, and started working in April 2022. I currently work part-time, mainly on Europia's Ukraine project. I am also studying International Disaster Management and Humanitarian Response at the University of Manchester. I am really grateful to be a part of such a supportive team, and I am excited to see Europia grow and expand the support we offer.
Jo Lake
HR Manager
Jo Lake
HR Manager
My name is Jo Lake and I’m the HR Manager for Europia (working on a consultancy basis). I have approximately 15 years of generalist Human Resources (HR experience) gained in both employed settings (with a Housing Association) as well as over 8 years of running my own HR business working on a consultancy basis with many charities and small - medium sized businesses. I have an MSc in Occupational Psychology and a First Class BSc Psychology degree. My aim is to support charities so they can deliver high quality, best practice HR practices for their staff and their organisation and can get the very best out of every individual staff member who will hopefully feel valued and motivated.
Miroslaw Ogorzalek
Europia Freelance Lead Graphic Designer
Miroslaw Ogorzalek
Europia Freelance Lead Graphic Designer
miro@mirodesign.co.uk
I am Miroslaw, a Polish national with dual citizenship, Polish and British. I have lived in the UK, Manchester, since 2006. After many years of work in the food industry in the technical department, in 2021 I decided to go back to University and complete my (Hons) Graphic Design education at the University of Salford and I currently still continue my MA Visual Communication course. I came across Europia a few years ago, and as a synaptic, I was involved in a few events. Also, I was a member of the Europia Art Collective, which is run under the wings of Europia and brought together artists from Eastern and Central Europe. For several years I have been working for Europia as a freelance graphic designer, helping the charity to achieve its goals through designs and visual communication. I combine traditional graphic design elements with photography, typography, art, moving images and different styles to create unique visuals. By working across different design mediums, including print, I can create complex visual identities and editorial designs.
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
Freelancer
Magdalena Kij
Freelancer
community@europia.org.uk
Hi, I am Magda, I work within the community supporting people with various art workshops and activities. I find art to be very healing and helpful in terms of trauma and depression. My approach to people is to be friendly and never judgmental. I also work around hate crime awareness.

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, Italian, 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

Chair: Sriharsha Nagaraj (appointed February 2023)

Paul Lajszczak (appointed December 2017)

Artur Bobikyan (appointed June 2021)

George Wright (appointed February 2023)

Emma Clay (appointed November 2023)

Richard Harvey (appointed November 2023)

 

Would you like to become a trustee of Europia contact our HR manager Jo Lake (jo.l@europia.orguk)

 

Europia Ukraine Advisory Panel

Would you like to be on this panel contact us ukraine@europia.org.uk

 

 

 

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