Housing association offers Multiply maths courses to help with cost-of-living
Education / Thu 6th Jul 2023 at 08:23am
Multiply in Essex, a free numeracy skills programme, has been helping Essex residents aged 19-years-old and over to improve their maths skills since early 2023.
A network of providers across the county are delivering a range of free support to help those looking to improve their skills. This includes courses aimed at helping people with managing bills, supporting children with schoolwork and progressing at work.
Clarion Futures, the charitable foundation of Clarion Housing Group which owns and manages thousands of homes across Essex, has teamed up with Multiply in Essex to deliver a new programme to help adults improve their numeracy skills at work and in everyday life.
Lisa Whatnall works for Clarion Futures delivering training courses and is keen to help people cope with the increased cost-of-living thanks to Multiply.
Lisa said: “I was rubbish at maths when I was at school, so I really understand why people ‘put up a wall’ as soon as they hear the word ‘maths’. We try to take the fear out of maths and apply it to everyday situations, reframing it as ‘Functional Skills’ that can help with everything from measuring out ingredients for a recipe to working out a household budget, as well as understanding bills and payslips.
“At Clarion we incorporate maths into a wide range of courses, even in our first aid courses – CPR uses a 30:2 ratio for compressions to breaths. In our ‘Plan, Shop, Save’ workshops we plan a week of meals for a family of four based on a budget of £35.09. This is where we start the conversation about what foods have increased in price and whether ‘2 for 1’ or ‘3 for 2’ deals are money savers or not. After the course people tell us they are spending about 30% less on their weekly shop from better meal planning and finding cost-saving deals, which is a fantastic result!”
Multiply providers offer courses across all areas of Essex. Some are provided online and some in person. The aim is to break down barriers to maths, improve skills and attainment, and show people how maths can be applied to everyday life.
Lisa continues: “We welcome people of all ages and backgrounds to our courses which run all over Essex, in Basildon, Chelmsford, Colchester and Harlow. I try to make sure maths is not like at school – instead of a blackboard or interactive screen (depending on your age!), we look at real-life scenarios where maths is essential, such as shopping in the supermarket or online.
“We’ve had some great feedback, with many of the people on the courses saying that the maths element ‘wasn’t as bad as they imagined’ and that the course has helped improve their maths skills and made them feel more confident with numbers.
“As well as introductory courses, we offer the chance to achieve formal qualifications in maths for those who want to take the next step. We’ve recently helped two Basildon learners get their qualifications to become maths tutors. This is such a great result, giving them new-found knowledge and a new career path, as well as making them more financially secure.”
To find out more about the free Multiply courses available all over Essex visit: www.essexopportunities.co.uk/multiply