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Louise's Story

31 Jan 2019

Louise, from Kent, works as an Administrator at an NHS trust. She discusses how she used the National Numeracy Challenge as a stepping stone to an important qualification which will help her progress at work.

Tell us a bit about your past experience with maths. 

Maths has always been my weakness, and at school I was never given the help to understand and overcome my problems, so I left school without a qualification in maths.  Over the years I have continued to struggle, especially with mental arithmetic and not being able to think things out in my head.  

What inspired you to use the National Numeracy Challenge? 

This year my employer sent an email about National Numeracy to help improve my maths.  I have successfully improved using this programme and will continue to use it to improve my maths ability. 

What have been the challenges you have faced whilst learning as an adult? 

I have avoided situations involved with working out things mentally; I really struggle trying to work out maths. I am a darts player and have had to rely on someone helping me out with the scoring as I can’t take away in my head quick enough.  I have also avoided job interviews that require you to take tests.  

After the admin and clerical reviews at work they added a test for Maths, English & Excel into the interviews, and they are scored.  I am currently a band 3 and if I wanted to go for a band 4, I would have to take these tests.  As my maths wasn’t that good, I never applied for any vacancies that have come up since.  

How has improving your numeracy helped you with your personal and/or work goals? 

It has helped me with my job development if I want to progress. I have applied to do a Dynamic Training course through the trust. It is a Government-funded course with a qualification at the end of it! With the backing of my line manager, I’m hoping that I can achieve my goal. 

What advice would you give to others thinking about improving their maths? 

The advice I would give to others is: I am nearly 60 and you are never too old to learn.

You can start learning today - register on the Challenge website 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.