Changing Lives’ numerac...

Changing Lives’ numeracy programme multiplying region’s skills

May 2023

2 Min Read

A numeracy programme delivered by the charity Changing Lives, is providing multiple life skills to people across the North East.

Multiply – which was first rolled out to residents of Gateshead – saw participants over the age of 19 take part in a six-week maths and cooking programme, during which competences such as weighing, measuring and converting recipes were learnt and developed.

Funded by Gateshead Borough Council, the Multiply Project was offered to people who did not hold a Level 2 Maths or equivalent, often as a result of negative experiences of the subject during their school days.

"The Multiply fund has been set up to enhance individuals' maths skills in real life situations."

One 30-year-old participant, who struggled at school as a result of his learning needs not being addressed, said: "Multiply is a great course that catered to my needs and I have learned such a lot. Every week it built my confidence and gave me skills I can use at home and in the future."

To date, nine people have successfully completed the course which was delivered by Christina Pinder,  Training and Development Team Leader of the Changing Lives Employment Pillar.

Speaking about the programme, Christina, said: "The Multiply fund has been set up to enhance individuals' maths skills in real life situations.  These courses are targeted at developing peoples' confidence around everyday numeracy but also reduce isolation and improve cooking and social skills.

"Elements of Maths were looked at in each session, along with important life skills such as creating a personal budget, how to use IE hub, (an online tool to help customers and creditors manage their income and expenditure), shopping on a budget and cost saving ideas when shopping and creating and cooking recipes. All of these are really important to the people we support, given the current cost of living situation.

"For me, one of the best things about the course was that participants ate what they had cooked together at the end of each session and were able to take a portion home as well."

Following the success of the Gateshead programme, North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) is currently running a similar course. Anyone interested should contact Christina Pinder