Skip to main content


The Lord Mayor hosts City businesses at Mansion House for Number Confidence Week!

15 Nov 2023

London businesses are being encouraged to take part in an initiative to create 'Numeracy Champions' all over the city.

To celebrate Number Confidence Week, Alderman Nicholas Lyons, in his final week as Lord Mayor of the City of London, hosted a free event at Mansion House for City businesses and spoke passionately about how numeracy can help transform life for Londoners."

Photo from the Mansion House event of Timi Merriman-Johnson, Alderman Nicholas Lyons, Leanne Chandler, and Sam Sims

The event, facilitated by National Numeracy Chief Executive Sam Sims, offered insights into National Numeracy’s Every Londoner Counts initiative, funded by charity partners The Lord Mayor’s Appeal. Guests also heard from Timi Merriman-Johnson, Founder of Mr MoneyJar and National Numeracy Ambassador, and Leanne Chandler, a Numeracy Champion from Tower Hamlets, trained as part of Every Londoner Counts.

The event brought together organisations from across the city to set about boosting the capital’s number know-how through trained Numeracy Champions in the workplace.

Londoners are feeling the full force of the UK’s hidden numeracy crisis with data showing that low numeracy is an issue holding back 3.5 million Londoners from fulfilling their potential.

Over half of Londoners (54%) say they struggle with ‘everyday maths’, and 60% say that having to do maths makes them feel anxious. It can lead to increased vulnerability to unemployment, debt, fraud, and financial exclusion. It also has a negative effect on the pounds and pence in Londoners’ purses.

Alderman Lyons said: "In London, this a particularly acute problem…and it has real world consequences. It is correlated to lower wages and is the strongest predictor of financial literacy.

"Indeed, the average wage differential of someone in London with low numeracy, as compared to someone who has gained basic numeracy, is nearly £3,000 annually alone.

"Throughout my mayoral year, I have championed the need for financial inclusion and financial education. It is essential to creating a more resilient and equal society that equips and empowers people to make effective financial decisions."

Alderman Lyons speaking at the Mansion House event

National Numeracy's Every Londoner Counts initiative is helping thousands of Londoners in greatest need to build their confidence and skills, and to develop a positive attitude towards basic numeracy.

The charity trains volunteer Numeracy Champions within businesses, organisations and community groups to then go on to mentor the adults around them. It hopes to establish a network of 500 champions by the end of next year.

Sam Sims, Chief Executive of National Numeracy, said: "We are making a lasting change to adult numeracy in London by improving employability and financial inclusion for those who need it most.

"Today we heard what a difference improved numeracy can make. It opens up opportunities and brighter futures. We hope as many London businesses and organisations as possible will join us in making Every Londoner Count."

Sam Sims speaking at the Mansion House event

Also speaking at the Mansion House event was Leanne Chandler, Skills for Life Programme Manager London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

Ms Chandler felt anxious about maths throughout her life, but stepped out of her comfort zone to train as a Numeracy Champion in order to support her staff in Tower Hamlets.

She said: "Working in partnership with National Numeracy has enabled us to support our staff and residents to feel more confident with numeracy and using numbers in their everyday lives.

"The training has given us tools to have conversations with our learners around their own numeracy skills and confidence and support them to progress in their learning, work, and everyday lives."

Leanne Chandler speaking at the Mansion House event

Finance influencer Timi Merriman-Johnson, the founder of Mr MoneyJar, is an ambassador for National Numeracy. He spoke alongside Alderman Lyons.

Timi said: "I think a lot of people found maths difficult at school, and as a result they have closed the door on it, saying: 'Maths isn’t for me.'

"But maths is for everyone. You use numbers all the time, even without realising it. Improving your numeracy can have material benefits for your life, whether it’s around managing money, going for the weekly shop, or planning your day. The great thing is, once you start improving, you can navigate life that much easier."

Timi Merriman-Johnson speaking at the Mansion House event

The event came during Number Confidence Week, run by National Numeracy. It is the UK’s only campaign focussing on how people feel about using the kind of maths we need in everyday situations, at home and at work. Building number confidence will look different for everyone, but National Numeracy offers a range of free confidence-boosting resources that can help you get started. They’re available online anytime, so you can go at your own pace.

The Lord Mayor's Appeal aims to find solutions to the most pressing societal issues in the capital and beyond, by creating a city that is inclusive, healthy, skilled and fair. Its ambition is to help one million people thrive through the charities it is supporting, as well as other City-wide initiatives.

National Numeracy, in partnership with The Lord Mayor’s Appeal, has launched an initiative called Every Londoner Counts

If you are a London borough council, charity, workplace, organisation or community in London, and want to join us in supporting thousands of Londoners with Numeracy Champions, get in touch! It is CPD-accredited and fully funded so there is no cost to you.

Get in touch Find out more