accessibility & help

The Pillowcase Project

Please note, places for the UK pilot have now been filled. However, you can still register your interest in future places.

 Children take part in the Pillowcase Project at a primary school in Kent© Info

About the project

The Pillowcase Project is an emergency preparedness education programme to help children understand, cope with and respond to an emergency.

The Pillowcase Project is a pilot project targeting children aged 9-11 in primary schools across the UK. 

The session plan includes practical and small-group learning activities to help children learn about local emergencies, as well as how to prepare and plan for an emergency.

It also teaches children coping skills to help them deal with an emergency. 

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.

They can then take their pillowcases home to show their family, and to fill with items that might useful in an emergency – aiming to build confidence in everyone’s ability to respond to an emergency. 


To view the video simply enter the password: "pillowcase" and click 'watch video'.

Support for the Pillowcase Project

“No-one can predict what’s around the corner, which is why emergency preparedness education is particularly important. The Pillowcase Project provides important preparedness tools, helping children around the UK understand what emergencies might affect them, as well as learning key skills to help them to cope and safely respond if an emergency happens.”
Simon Lewis, Head of UK Emergency Planning and Response, British Red Cross

"Weather in the UK can be very changeable but, by preparing for the possibilities it means as a nation we’re better prepared to respond to emergencies. 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


Teaching resources

A set of free, easy-to-use teaching resources are available for download in the right hand column of this page, including:

  • an outline session plan
  • a detailed session plan providing guidance on delivering interactive activities to help children understand what an emergency is, and exercises designed to increase children’s ability to cope during an emergency
  • guidance on preparing for a range of severe weather emergencies
  • curriculum links for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • a PowerPoint presentation to provide visual aids and talking points during the session delivery
  • take-home worksheets for children to share their learning and help build community resilience
  • participation certificates for each child. 

Register your interest

The Pillowcase Project has been very popular and we have now reached our target for the number of schools taking part in the UK pilot.

However, you can still register to be informed about future opportunities to run the Pillowcase Project.

We are happy to help if you have any questions or queries, please email


Register your interest