accessibility & help

The Pillowcase Project

Please note, we have reached our quota of schools to receive the pillowcases and fabric pens in the post. However, you can still run the project without the materials - if you would like to receive an email notifying you when the free online resources will be available to download from our website, please complete the registration form.

It is estimated that natural disasters have affected approximately 250 million people worldwide every year in the last decade. More than half of those affected have been children (IFRC 2010).

The Pillowcase Project is a global education programme supported by the American Red Cross and funded by The Walt Disney Company. It aims to help children aged 7–11 understand, cope with and respond to any weather-related emergency they may have to face. As part of the session, children decorate an emergency ‘grab bag’ pillowcase with the items they would want to have with them in an emergency.

The Pillowcase Project is a great way to get children thinking about what they would do if they were affected by severe weather, so they can be prepared for its potential impacts."
Derrick Ryall,
Head of Public Weather Service at the Met Office

After the positive feedback from the first UK pilot project in 2015, we are re-developing the British Red Cross Pillowcase Project. We are delighted to be able to offer primary schools the opportunity to participate in the second pilot.

Register your interest

About the Pillowcase Project

Pupils at Bridge and Patrixbourne C of E Primary  School take part in the Pillowcase Project© Info How could the Pillowcase Project benefit your school?  
  • Resources are closely linked with the Geography, Science, PSHE/PSE and Literacy curricula.
  • Receive a free kit of online teaching resources and materials, including pillowcases.

Learning Objectives: 

Through the project pupils will:

  •  explore weather-related emergencies in the UK;
  •  learn and practise how to cope in an emergency;
  • practise how to prepare and respond to weather-related emergencies;
  • be encouraged to share their learning with their family and friends to help build community resilience.
What’s involved?

We are looking for teachers across the UK to deliver and evaluate the project in the final half of the 2017 summer term, between 5 June and 7 July. The project consists of an online toolkit of resources that can be delivered flexibly in one session or as a series of sessions.

My colleagues are desperate to do it as it links so well to their natural disasters topic - it's an amazing cross-curricular resource. Thanks!”
Teacher at Sea View Primary School, Tyne and Wear

What materials and resources will be supplied?

Everything you need to deliver the Pillowcase Project will be provided free of charge. This includes an online toolkit of teaching resources for you to download with practical and engaging group activities, films, photographs and worksheets. All of these resources are linked to the UK curricula.

Participating schools will also receive a free kit of materials by post. These will include:

  • pillowcases;
  • fabric pens;
  • evaluation forms for children and teachers to send back to the British Red Cross in a pre-paid envelope provided.

How do I get involved?

To register your interest in participating in the pilot, please complete the registration form.

Please be aware that places are limited. Places will be allocated to primary schools on a first come, first served basis. If you have any questions or queries: please email

Students thoroughly enjoyed the project. More students were more aware of what an 'emergency' entails. It made them question their 'choices' of what is important and question one another.”
Teacher at Hallmoor School, Birmingham

To learn more about the project, watch our video below – simply enter the password “pillowcase” and select “Watch Video"