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Join the Big Number Natter in 2024!

10 Apr 2024

The Big Number Natter is back for 2024 and will see people across the UK take a first step to improving their numeracy... not by whipping out their calculators, but by simply talking!

Love it or loathe it, everyone has something to say about maths! National Numeracy Day falls on Wednesday 22 May, and throughout the month of May we want to get the nation chatting about how numbers make them feel.

The Big Number Natter

The Big Number Natter

Ask the person next to you how they feel... about maths

Numbers might not seem like a great conversation starter, but give it a try: ask the next mate you meet how they feel about maths. We bet you'll be surprised how much comes tumbling out.

The Big Number Natter aims to inspire adults to open up about their feelings towards numbers, to challenge stereotypes and to show how numbers are needed in everyday life. 

This is definitely not a natter just for boffins...this is for everyone, because we all use - and need - numbers in our everyday life, for bagging a bargain, supporting our kids or getting on at work.

Don't take our word for it! In a video for our charity, our Ambassador Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis said: "Being good with numbers and being able to work out what’s happening really will help you in your life. From the obvious going to the shops and making decisions, to calculating your finances, working out which product is good or bad…all of these things are good, and I’d really encourage you to get better at maths.”

Why do we need to natter about numbers?

  • Around half the working-age population of the UK has the numeracy level expected of a primary school child.
  • Over a third of adults (35%) say that doing maths makes them feel anxious, while one in five are so fearful it even makes them feel physically sick.
  • Millions of children leave school lacking number confidence. Almost a third 18-24s (30%) feel anxious about using maths and numbers, and they are the most maths-anxious adult group in the UK. 
  • Low numeracy makes people vulnerable to debt, unemployment, poor health and fraud. These have all been exacerbated by the cost-of-living crisis.

Opening up is the first step to feeling better about numbers

Maths evokes a variety of emotions, some very strong. Growing up, maths lessons may have left you feeling anxious or inadequate. Those feelings may reappear in adult life, when you need to work out your household budget or pay a bill. Maybe you avoid anything involving numbers, like splitting a bill or helping a child with homework.

Feeling  worried, anxious or scared about numbers is completely understandable - and if that's you, you're not alone! Millions of people feel this way. But being able to work with and use maths in everyday life is vital.

Opening up about your feelings on maths is the first step towards positive change. And that change can be transformative and lead to a more positive relationship with numbers. Plus, by talking about it we often realise that others feel just the same as we do. Watch some real-life number natters and see what other people are saying.

Join our celebrities in nattering about numbers this May

National Numeracy Ambassadors Katya Jones, Jessica Gagen, and Bobby Seagull will kick things off this year with their own Big Number Natter about the 'number confidence gender gap'.  Recent research has revealed an alarming gap in number confidence between girls and boys, with 54% of British girls not feeling confident learning maths, compared to 41% of boys.

And look out for a very special, in person Big Number Natter event on National Numeracy Day itself. More news on that soon!

Katya Jones, World Champion Dancer and Strictly Come Dancing pro said: “I don't have a maths degree, but I know that numbers play a big part in all of our lives. Whether you’re looking for a bargain at the shops, trying to understand a household bill or even choreographing a dance routine. So, I’d love to show anyone can improve their numeracy confidence. The Big Number Natter is a great way to open up about how we feel about everyday maths and take that first step.”

Join our Ambassadors, a host of other celebrities and thousands of people holding their own number natter sessions across the UK. We've made it simple, quick and easy for you to join in!

Why not host your own conversation at school, college, work, or in your community. We have plenty of free resources to get you started. Use the hashtag #BigNumberNatter and tag us on social media. We’d love you to share your natters with us.

Or why not try our free online numeracy improvement tool, the  National Numeracy Challenge to check your numeracy and start improving in just 10 minutes?

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Sign up to get even more free resources

 Schools , organisations or individuals who would like a free National Numeracy Day digital toolkit can sign up for one quickly and easily. The toolkit is bursting with fun activities and resources for National Numeracy Day, including a guide and assets to support your own Big Number Natter online, in the workplace, or in your community.

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National Numeracy Day is brought to you by independent charity National Numeracy, Founding Supporter KPMG and a group of pioneering Lead Supporter and Lead Delivery Partner organisations who are dedicated to improving the nation’s numeracy confidence and skills.

Try the National Numeracy Challenge

 However you feel about maths, you’re not alone. The National Numeracy Challenge is a free and easy-to-use website you can use to improve your confidence with numbers, in your own time and at your own pace.

It’s ideal for brushing up, checking your level, or for catching up on learning you missed, and it’s all about the maths you need in daily life and at work – no algebra or trigonometry.

Image showing the Challenge on a computer monitor