The devastating and lasting impact of flooding on children and young people is being exposed through a new 360-degree immersive video.
‘Help Sali’ – a collaboration between the University of Hull, Lancaster University and the Environment Agency – transports viewers into the life of child affected by flooding.
Released on World Water Day, the story is told through the voice of a young girl, Sali, who shares her experiences of being forced to flee her home as water levels rose.
The new immersive video is accompanied by a pack of free learning resources aimed at Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 pupils.
Katie Parsons, a Researcher at the University of Hull, said: “The important element here is how we ensure that children have a voice and that their concerns about flooding are heard.
“By basing the videos on real children’s accounts of being flooded and by co-creating the learning resources with teachers, we have ensured that these packs are aligned with the needs to communicate risk, but also aligned with the needs of the curriculum.”
Using 360 immersive storytelling techniques, the videos allow you to see through the child’s eyes the sorts of issues young people face before, during and after a flood event.
Help Sali is based on the real experiences of a child who worked with staff from Lancaster University during an ESRC Urgency funded project researching children and flooding.
Dr Alison Lloyd Williams, a member of the Lancaster team and now based at the University of Hull, said: “We’re delighted to be using new digital technologies as a way to help the stories of flood-affected children reach new audiences.
“We have found that the immersive nature of these videos can have a powerful impact on viewers and help mobilise people to action on flood risk.
“Our new teaching and learning resources support teachers in exploring this further in the classroom.”
Professor Dan Parsons, Director at the University of Hull’s Energy & Environment Institute, said: “This is a superb partnership project between the Universities of Hull and Lancaster and the Environment Agency, highlighting preparedness and how building resilience in communities is driven by ensuring members of those communities are empowered by knowledge and an understanding of their own risk.
“This project delivers that in a very innovative way.”
The new video – and resource pack – follows the success of the ‘Help Callum’ and ‘Inundation Street’ 360 video projects.
Together these 360 videos have been viewed over 2.6 million times on the Energy and Environment Institute’s SeriousGeoGames’ YouTube Channel, and showcased at the Waterline Summit 2020 and the annual Environment Agency’s Flood and Coast conference.
Julie Foley, Director of Flood Risk Management Strategy and National Adaptation at the Environment Agency, said: “This project brings together children's experiences and digital innovation in a way that will allow young people to talk and learn about the devastating impact of flooding.