The sums add up for Red Pandas


Innovative maths training

A group of representatives from West Yorkshire businesses who provide ongoing support to work colleagues around maths and numeracy found the perfect equation to construct special enrichment toys for animals.

Ten numeracy champions – from businesses across Leeds, Bradford and Kirklees – attended the Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster to build enrichment toys, such as ladders and bridges with feeders attached, for the Red Pandas who are residents there.

The networking event was part of the Multiply programme being delivered by Realise, one of the UK’s leading training providers, to allow people across West Yorkshire to boost their maths and numeracy skills.

Extremely rewarding

Sarah Birkinshaw, Multiply delivery manager for Realise, said: “It was a fantastic day and really worthwhile to get some of our numeracy champions together for a networking and team building event.

“To be able to build enrichment toys for the Red Pandas was extremely rewarding for everyone who attended. We were deliberately given a looser brief than you would usually expect which meant that we were able to apply the maths and numeracy elements which the Multiply programme focuses on.

“Everyone had a great day and to see the Red Pandas happily playing with their new toys led to a real sense of pride amongst the group.

“The Multiply programme is making a major difference across West Yorkshire and building confidence around the type of numeracy skills which are known to provide anxiety amongst hundreds of local residents.”

“It was a fantastic day and really worthwhile to get some of our numeracy champions together for a networking and team building event.”

Sarah Birkinshaw, Multiply delivery manager for Realise

Free training programme

Multiply, a free training programme, was launched in West Yorkshire in 2023 after a report showed an estimated 752,000 people in the area – around 52 per cent – were found to be at entry level or below in numeracy.

A total of 105 individuals have already been trained in practical workplace maths across 47 different West Yorkshire employers.

In addition, 38 numeracy champions have been created along with more than 150 numeracy ambassadors from organisations such as local authorities, charities and community hubs who have been trained to help fellow West Yorkshire residents with ongoing advice and guidance around working with numbers.

For more information on the Multiply programme across West Yorkshire, check out the course page.