I work in a health centre as a healthcare assistant in the diabetes care team in Brighton. As part of my training I had to take my Care Certificate, in which there is a compulsory numeracy module.
When I found out about the maths requirement I was mortified. I felt petrified of it and I knew that maths wasn’t my strong point.
I logged on to the National Numeracy Challenge and looked at some of the questions. Straight away I thought that I was going to struggle.
At first I scored 34 and I needed 80 for the Care Certificate. I buried my head in the sand and with the pressure of having to work and complete the other Care Certificate requirements I kept putting the Challenge off.
I knew though that eventually I would have to face up to it. I worked hard to try and complete it but still I wasn’t getting the score I wanted. It was so frustrating but I did keep trying.
At first I was ashamed to ask for help while I was finding it difficult but I did find the courage to seek support from colleagues and my manager and my score was improving. I got up to 73, but it still wasn’t enough to complete the Care Certificate.
I really thought that I wasn’t going to be able to do it, I thought I’d never get to the Essentials of Numeracy but I kept trying and trying on the Check-Up. It was hard to keep going and not be put off maths. But I still didn’t give up.
I used some resources from National Numeracy on the areas I was struggling with. They were really helpful and the resources that I had needed all along.
Even when I was doing the Check-Up again I still thought I wasn’t going to get the score I needed but when the results came up I had got 81.
I was over the moon! I was so happy and proud of myself that I kept trying and finally managed to pass. It felt so good to know that I didn’t need to stress about maths anymore.
I actually cried when I realised I had done it – it was such a huge sense of achievement.
I know now that I should not be ashamed to ask for help and not to be stressed out by maths. I wish I had asked for help at the very beginning instead of suffering in silence.
The Challenge has given me the confidence to know that I can get where I want as long as I am not afraid to ask and keep doing the maths. If I keep practicing the maths and keep my skills up I would be interested in doing a Level 2 qualification.