Completed Project

Flood Stories

Exploring children’s experiences of flooding through the use of immersive 360 technologies

Project summary

The Challenge

Societal preparedness is key to our ability to adapt to rising flood risk

The Approach

The project uses immersive storytelling to explore the experiences of flood-affected children and young people.

The Outcome

By combining real children’s experiences with immersive storytelling techniques we are able to build young people's sense of agency and preparedness.

Lead academics

Funded by

Project partners

Project partners:

Environment Agency

Lancaster University

University of Hull

The Challenge

Flood hazard and risk are set to double by 2050 as a result of climate change. Societal preparedness is key to enhanced adaptation and in turn improving the resilience of societies and communities to these extreme events. 

Flooded playground From Lancaster Uni re Help Projects

Global flood risk is set to double by 2050



Children and young people experience disasters first-hand but often from a very different viewpoint to adults. This project builds on previous research into the experiences of children and young people during and after floods and explores questions raised about usage of creative and participatory methodologies to explore their experiences and tell their story. 

The full research team

The Approach

During the 2014 project, team members worked with flood-affected children, using creative and participatory methodologies to explore their experiences and tell their story. This gave the young people the opportunity to express their voice on this issue and take action, including the production of two children’s flood manifestos that called for changes in UK flood management.


Our new project builds on the learning from that work with young people; investigating new and innovative ways in which we can engage communities with flood risk.

The activities include the co-development of a suite of immersive virtual reality and 360 video resources and accompanying educational materials for use with teachers and educators.

We have used immersive storytelling and 360 animation to bring to life two children’s flood stories. In the Help Callum and Help Sali videos the viewer gets to experience the children’s stories first hand and begin to understand some of the issues that they faced.

The work explores: the effectiveness of these resources in identifying the key issues young people want to know about flooding; how the co-created resources can be used as part of flood education in schools; and the ways in which the resources can stimulate young people’s involvement in action on mitigating flood risk.

Learning Resources

The Flood Stories research team worked with teachers and young people to co-develop a suite of flooding learning resources for teachers and educators, centred around immersive virtual reality 360 videos.

The resources include a 3-lesson plan that will take you on a journey of education and action. You may download a PDF of this Flood Stories teaching and learning resource. Links to the videos and the extended learning videos are included within the pack. However, you can also follow the links below to access them individually.

If you would like to be part of the next stage of this project in evaluating the resources, then please get in touch with

Interactive teaching resources on Help Callum

Interactive teaching resources on Help Sali

Downloadable PDF teaching resources

Help Callum - A 360 VR child's eye view of floods and disaster recovery
Help Sali - A 360 VR child's eye view of flood and disaster recovery

The Impact

By working with teachers, young people and the Environment Agency we have been able to produce a new set of digital resources. We have incorporated links to the National Curriculum and the Sustainable Development Goals, exploring how the immersive videos can contribute to better understanding and action on flood risk among a new generation of young people. 

The resources enable schools and teachers to explore an informed approach to flood risk that complements their existing learning outcomes. They include guidelines for how teachers can use these resources in their lesson planning. Teachers have told us that the project’s unique approach of combining real children’s experiences with immersive storytelling techniques is a powerful catalyst to engagement with, and subsequent action on, flood risk among their students.

Engagement with these resources builds young people’s sense of agency, motivating them to want to better understand flood risk in their local community and to explore actions they, their families and decision makers can take to prepare for future floods.

Furthermore, engagement with the resources by those involved in flood response prompts thinking about what would have helped the children and how we could all be better prepared for flooding.

Landscapes to Lifescapes

An online exhibition from the University of Hull, Lancaster University and the Environment Agency, exploring how flooding affects our physical and social environment – our ‘landscapes and lifescapes’.