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Cara’s story: Numeracy is empowering

13 May 2020

A Brighton NHS nursery manager joined celebrities including Rachel Riley and Carol Vorderman on National Numeracy Day on Wednesday 13 May to promote the National Numeracy Challenge.

Cara Mitchell manages three nurseries for Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust and stressed the importance of good maths skills for both the pre-schoolers and staff she is responsible for.

She took the National Numeracy Challenge and then encouraged her team to do it. “Completing the Challenge was a relief. It was empowering. At the end of it we all felt like punching the air because we’d all done it!” Cara said. “Now everyone wants to get involved, and we’re even planning to include the National Numeracy Challenge in our induction for new nursery staff. It can only have a positive impact on our children.”


These achievements led to Cara being named a National Numeracy Day Hero. She is appearing in the National Numeracy Day Virtual Festival on Wednesday 13 May alongside National Numeracy Ambassadors Rachel Riley, maths teacher and broadcaster Bobby Seagull and Money Saving expert Martin Lewis as well as Maths Factor creator Carol Vorderman, Charlie & Lola author Lauren Child and many more.

Given the coronavirus lockdown, National Numeracy, the charity behind National Numeracy Day, has reorganised the event as the UK’s first ever virtual festival of numbers.

The National Numeracy Virtual Festival features a varied online schedule throughout the day, including videos, interviews, book readings for kids, practical sessions for adults, free resources and puzzles, accessible via

The event covers three areas people want support with during this challenging time: helping children; personal development; and getting to grips with household finance. It aims to help everyone feel a bit better about their number skills.

Cara said: “I did the National Numeracy Challenge and once I’d completed it, I realised that everyone else needed to do this too, including managers, with no time limit and no pressure.

“The Challenge made us realise we were all using maths every day anyway; with the children talking about who’s the tallest and shortest, measuring portions and allocating staff – it's all everyday maths and we all feel a lot more positive about it now.

“My advice to anyone else who wants to improve their numeracy would be to tackle it as a team, with a mutually supportive approach. We did it together and honestly, maths has never been so fun!”

For the full festival line-up visit the National Numeracy Day website

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