Councils say ‘make it easier’ with Multiply123 numeracy courses and support

Adults across Inverclyde are being urged to take part in a new programme helping them ‘make it easier’ to use numbers and maths.

Local authorities in the Glasgow City Region have joined forces to promote the Multiply123 numeracy programme – hundreds of funded courses and activities, free to local residents and available across the Region’s eight council areas.

A dedicated telephone helpline which launched this week, on freephone 0808 171 3030, will connect adults with Multiply support in their local council area. And a new website at showcases help and support available across the Region.

Research from the National Numeracy Charity shows that 40% of the UK’s working-age population have the expected numeracy levels of a primary school leaver, and 30% of school leavers feel anxious about using maths and numbers.

The eight council leaders meeting this week for the Glasgow City Region Cabinet urged others to find out more and sign up.

Councillor Stephen McCabe, leader of Inverclyde Council, said: 

Council Leaders - Multiply Regional Campaign
Inverclyde Council Leader, Councillor Stephen McCabe, with the other seven Glasgow City Region council leaders holding large numbers 1, 2 and 3. 

“Numbers are part of our everyday lives dealing with things like bills, wages, shopping, household budgets, or helping young people with homework.

“But having the numeracy skills to tackle some of these day-to-day tasks and do so with confidence is something many of us take for granted.

“Thanks to the Multiply programme, people in Inverclyde and across the City Region who struggle with numeracy can access the help and support they need for free right on their doorstep.

“There are courses and activities now available to equip people with the skills they need to make it easier for them to deal with numbers and maths and I encourage anyone who is struggling to find out more from the Multiply website.”

Among those taking advantage of the support is Greenock resident Courtney Jann, 22, who is taking part in a Multiply-funded Numbers into Employment course being run by the council’s community learning and development service.

Courtney said:

“I was diagnosed with dyslexia in P6 and ADHD in P7, and told I have additional support needs. I’ve always struggled to make numbers make sense.

“Number work in high school was too hard and I was always falling behind. In first year, I was moved to a different school, but the work here was too easy so I never really learned how to get better at numbers. 

Courtney Jann with Inverclyde Council Multiply staff member James Kane.
Courtney Jann with Inverclyde Council Multiply staff member James Kane.

“I went to college to do a number of taster courses but, owing to a family illness, I missed some time at college, so I was struggling to learn and keep up as well as feeling stressed about my family member and not passing my course. 

“As an adult, I have support workers who help me with budgets, shopping, and managing my money but I’ve never really felt independent or able to manage my own money.  I also really enjoy cooking and would love to work in catering or hospitality, but I’m not confident to go to College to do this because of how I feel about numbers.”

Courtney has already been attending a weekly learning session working with numbers.

Courtney added:

“Learning like this has helped me to become more independent in managing my money. I am taking more responsibility for paying for my shopping, and checking my change - my support worker has noticed this too. This has made me have a big rise in confidence and I am a lot happier. I am definitely getting more confident with numbers. I think with a bit more time and learning, I can see myself definitely going to college and then getting a job in hospitality.”


Chair of the Glasgow City Region Cabinet and Leader of Glasgow City Council, Susan Aitken said:

“Numeracy in daily lives, home and work can mean budgeting household finances, helping children with homework, making more sense of statistics and facts in the media, or improving numeracy skills specific to your work.

“It’s estimated that one in ten people across the UK struggle with numeracy. These activities and courses are funded so there’s no cost to participants, and they’re specially designed to make it easier to use numbers and maths.”

As many residents work and spend leisure time across the eight council areas, the local authorities are working together to promote the Multiply offering in a wide range of ways.

Continued Councillor Aitken:

“There are many benefits to the programme. People who improve their numeracy skills are more likely to be in employment, to secure higher wages and improve their wellbeing. Businesses who develop their employees’ numeracy skills can boost productivity and improve employee retention.

“In the year ahead, there’ll be a range of activities promoting the programme, with a dedicated telephone response line and a website with information and examples of the course available and case studies of people who’ve joined some of the courses.

“We’re also engaging with local agencies, organisations and large employers, asking for their support to promote the programme and encourage as many people as possible to take part.”

A number of key local organisations which are members of the Region’s Anchor Network have already committed to supporting the campaign.

Dr Emilia Crighton, Director of Public Health, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said:

“As one of the largest employers in Glasgow and the wider city region, and an Anchor Network member, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde will support key initiatives that will improve the health and wellbeing of our residents and our considerable staff base. We look forward to working with the eight local councils to promote the Multiply campaign to elevate numeracy skills across the Region, through the various free courses and help available.”

Leanne Keegan, Head of Development and Corporate Services at Blue Triangle, said:

"Numeracy is an important skill that we use in our daily lives. However, many adults are lacking confidence in this area, which can impact on budgeting and paying bills. We warmly welcome the free help and support for adults to build numeracy skills and confidence being provided through the new Glasgow City Region Multiply initiative. Blue Triangle looks forward to promoting this service with our supported people."

Professor Josephine Pravinkumar, Director of Public Health and Health Policy, NHS Lanarkshire said:

“NHS Lanarkshire warmly welcomes the Glasgow City Region Multiply campaign which aligns with our own vision to promote health and wellbeing and reduce inequalities. As a large local employer and a Glasgow City Region Anchor Network member, we are delighted to be supporting this important initiative and will ensure our workforce are aware of the free support and resources available.”

The Multiply programme is funded by the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund. Multiply courses and activities are available for anyone aged 19 or over; without a maths qualification above SQA Level 5; and resident in Glasgow, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, Inverclyde, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, East Renfrewshire or Renfrewshire.

The Multiply helpline is on freephone 0808 171 3030 and the new website is available at

Agencies and Organisations interested in exploring how they can support the Regional Numeracy campaign should contact in the first instance.