"The Challenge gives the volunteers confidence to improve."
Lynda Carter is an USDAW union learning representative who works with Hope37, a social enterprise for young people in Holywell, North Wales.
She talked to us about the impact the Challenge has had on the volunteers at the project.
How did you work out there was an issue with numeracy at the project?
I work with Hope37 as part of USDAW’s community outreach. Many of the young people they come into contact with left education with no formal qualifications and work as volunteers, helping in the café and with their community projects, including the local food bank.
When I first visited the café, I realised quickly that many people there needed to improve their maths skills.
How did you go about introducing the Challenge?
I know from my own work how important maths is so I told them about the National Numeracy Challenge. The organisation thought it was such a good idea that they have now incorporated into the training.
How has using the Challenge made a difference?
One young woman who volunteers at the café, a single parent with mental health issues, started and completed the National Numeracy Challenge. She now has the confidence to apply to College to do an advanced cake making course.
I am happy to say she has a new found confidence and now understands that she was actually good at maths. She has been offered a place to start in September at College. Because of caring for her son, who has learning difficulties, she needs extra support to help her start her course in September. However, her confidence has reached a point where she now understands her options for the future and recognises her own potential. Furthermore, by completing the challenge, this helped to remove barriers to her continuing to study in further education.