Published 14 February 2024

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

The Council has joined forces with other local authorities in Glasgow City Region to launch the Multiply123 numeracy programme. The programme offers hundreds of numeracy courses and activities free to local residents and available across eight council areas to help improve number and maths skills.

A dedicated telephone helpline, 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.

Council leaders from all eight authorities, including West Dunbartonshire Council Leader Councillor Martin Rooney, met this week to encourage people to find out more and sign up.

Councillor Rooney said: “Numeracy and mathematics skills are part of everyday life so improving these skills can make a difference in the quality of our lives. That’s what makes this programme so important, as it provides a safe space for adults to brush up on their existing skills. Its only right that adults of all ages and abilities should feel supported and encouraged to improve their skills base. The Multiply 123 programme is free of charge to everyone within West Dunbartonshire and will give those that enroll the tools to help improve their skills. I want our residents to feel more comfortable and confident with managing household budgets, getting the best value during their weekly shopping, or when supporting their children with homework. There’s something for everyone and it’s also a great way to get out and meet others who want to do the same.”

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.

Case Study

Robert, Clydebank said “Normally, I am ok with most numbers, but I started to get more and more mixed up.  This was augmented when I was put under stress which made it hard for me to do numeracy tasks.  I thought I was doing well with numbers until someone asked me questions like a test situation, or said we’ll do an assessment now.  I started to panic and didn’t think straight! I have dyslexia which didn’t help either.  I also really struggled with percentages.”

I attended Figure it out in West Dunbartonshire last year.   I finished when I got my job in Morrisons.”

“I have more confidence not only in my maths, but also being in a group of strangers.  It has really helped me with my confidence, when working on the tills I can talk to the customers and don’t feel under pressure giving change whilst I’m talking.  I am more relaxed when under pressure.  I have also got more comfortable doing percentages such as working out what 25% of something is.  I am going to continue working for Morrisons, but also do some part time charity work as well.”

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