Multiply Supported Tina to Change Her Maths Mindset

To say Tina had a bumpy start to her relationship with Maths would be an understatement – but since taking the leap and completing a Multiply course through her employer, her confidence and skills have grown phenomenally.  

Tell us a bit about your history with Maths, Tina! 

I’ve worked within the government for 25 years, first in Inland Revenue and now in HMRC.  

When I was younger, I had to miss a lot of school, so when it came to starting secondary school, I really felt like I was on the back foot and I struggled to catch up.  

Thanks to the help of some great teachers, I managed to catch up well in English, but I never got that same support in Maths so it’s always something I struggled with.  

It wasn’t until my children started coming home with Maths homework that I realised I didn’t understand the work and wasn’t able to help them in the way I wanted to. 

Where did you hear about the Multiply course, and what made you apply? 

I had the opportunity to develop my skills with Multiply and Futures through work. I saw the poster, which said the course could help with things like budgeting and money management, which I already felt confident with. It was the helping with homework that caught my eye, so I decided to give it a go.  

I also wanted to improve my skills to help my chances of obtaining a promotion or sideways move at work when the vacancy advertised required taking a test. I’ve always been confident in my ability to pass the verbal reasoning and situational judgement tests, but I felt frightened to death of the numeracy tests. I knew that it would block me from successfully passing the overall tests for a post that I really wanted. 

Our workplace gave us the time we needed for Tim to come in from Futures and deliver the Multiply course to us at work, so it was easy to access. Tina Melville

How would you say that Futures has helped you? 

I’ve always had a block with Maths and ran away from it. Whenever my husband or eldest son have tried to help me, it feels like pulling teeth. 

The way Tim does it, it just sticks. He was just phenomenal, and he’s given me back the confidence to do that sort of thing. Back at school, it was a different atmosphere, but he has a fantastic way of communicating. The interactive elements, the small group support, the PowerPoints – it helps. 

After all these years, I feel like I can finally understand it.  

What are your plans for the future? Any more maths? 

I’d love to do a Maths GCSE or another maths course. I’m looking for something that you can take at your own pace and that I’d be able to attend outside of work.  

When another vacancy arises at work, I will definitely go for it now. In the past my maths skills have let me down in going for posts advertised with tests attached, but this course has given me the absolute confidence I need to go for them. 

I’ve had a lot of fun with the numbers and I would love to go back into maths now.   Tina Melville

We also caught up with the Maths Master himself – Tim Hargraves – who said: 

It’s been a real pleasure working with the employees of HMRC. We’ve had a laugh, we’ve talked about all sorts, and I’ve even been given some good, new band recommendations (I love my music). 

In amongst all this, we’ve even done some maths! 

It’s been so nice to hear how these sessions have built confidence in the participants and the fact that Tina has said she was previously afraid to apply for promotion roles because of maths assessments but that she is now brave enough to have a go - what a great thing to be told! I’m thrilled with the work we’ve done with HMRC and it’s so nice to see these positive outcomes.  

I look forward to these folks taking those next steps, and also getting to work with other organisations who might be looking to share this experience to their employees. 


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