A Castleford father joined celebrities including Rachel Riley, Martin Lewis and Bobby Seagull on National Numeracy Day on Wednesday 13 May to promote the National Numeracy Challenge, which helped him overcome a sense of shame when his kids asked for help with their homework.
Jason Ace who is currently juggling the roles of dad and home-schooling teacher, said he got left behind in maths classes at school, leaving him with a sense of anxiety about numeracy which lasted into adulthood. He even used to dread going out for dinner with friends, because he wasn’t able to work out how the bill should be split at the end of the meal.
However, after taking the National Numeracy Challenge he has now grown more confident with numbers. “To overcome your fears, you’ve got to face them head on, and that’s what I did, with the National Numeracy Challenge,” Jason said. “Numbers don’t scare me anymore … Maths is my friend. We’ve had a pint in the pub and made up.”
These achievements led to Jason being named a National Numeracy Day Hero. He appeared 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, 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 www.numeracyday.com.
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.
Jason said: “As a parent I struggled when my kids asked for help with their homework. There’s a sense of shame and feeling inadequate because your children are asking you for help and you can’t provide it. You’re meant to provide for your kids.
“But now I’ve done the National Numeracy Challenge I’ve grown confident with numbers. I don’t have to hide from my kids when they ask me for help, and I really enjoy doing it. I don’t want them to be afraid of numbers like I was at school. We get a buzz out of doing the homework together, and I’m learning from them too.
“Improving my numeracy hasn’t just helped me with my kids, it’s helped me at work too. I’ve enhanced my CV and future job prospects.”
For images, video clips or interview requests: firstname.lastname@example.org
Start improving your numeracy – register on the National Numeracy Challenge now!
National Numeracy has developed an online tool to help you improve your numeracy and boost your confidence. This interactive website is free to use at home, at work or on the move. You can assess your current level of numeracy – completely anonymously – and then begin an online journey to getting the Essentials of Numeracy.
Find out more about maths anxiety
What is a fear of maths, how does it affect people and their lives, and what can you do to help? National Numeracy has collected a variety of research, stories from real people, and advice about maths anxiety.