John Zavos - Director
John joined MESH as Director in January 2023. He has worked in ESOL and Refugee Support since 2018, teaching English in a variety of contexts, including the third sector, adult education and prison. Most recently, John worked for Refugees & Mentors in Manchester, supporting refugees with professional experience to gain employment in the UK. He also worked for Al Hayat Languages in Blackburn, co-ordinating wraparound support for Afghan refugees and managing ESOL provision. Prior to 2018, John taught and researched South Asian religions and cultures at the University of Manchester. John sees ESOL as a vital feature of multicultural society in the UK. It functions not just to foster confidence and a sense of belonging amongst migrant groups, but also as a tool of social change, by providing marginalised groups with the capacity to shape English language and UK culture differently. John’s work for MESH is driven by these principles.
Clare Jackson - Regional ESOL Project Coordinater
Clare has worked for MESH since December 2013. She was involved in the initial mapping of ESOL provision in Leeds and development of the first two websites. Since April of 2019 Clare has been the regional ESOL provision resource coordinator, working closely with the regional development workers and director of MESH to produce the new website, learningenglish.org.uk Clare is an experienced ESOL teacher. She has worked in the field since 2005 and is director of Sunflower ESOL - a community based provision that makes English accessible to people living in the Lincoln Green and Harehills areas of Leeds.
Safina Arif - Development worker
Safina Arif is an ESOL Development worker for MESH with a wide range of experience in establishing and delivering community based initiatives on a local and regional level, supporting people to improve their skills and confidence, as well as raise their aspirations. Safina’s efforts have been recognised through various awards and ceremonies over the years. She approaches her work with passion and positivity, working well with others to provide essential opportunities and support in local communities. She has a great devotion for making a difference to people’s lives by passing on the importance of learning, education and the possibility of overcoming barriers.
Anne Baber - Finance Officer
Anne Baber has been a Treasurer on various committees and worked at Housing Charities and as a accountant in the NHS and then as a substance misuse therapist. She is herself from a migrant family and her experience of finding work in Germany made language services essential to her stay there. She holds the view that language acquisition is key to migrant communities being able to fulfil their potential in their new home.
Angela Palmer - Development Worker
Angela joined MESH as a Development Worker in January 2022. She is an experienced ESOL and EFL teacher with a passion for supporting learners to achieve their goals and develop further skills along with their study of English, such as the use of technology. She is interested in integrating English into the daily lives of learners, particularly developing resources that can help them navigate new settings and make the most of what's available to them within their new communities.