Free Escape to Safety Teaching online Resource

Escape to Safety – a simulated experience of asylum seeking

Put yourselves in an asylum seekers’ shoes, and discover the realities of fleeing your country to find safety in the UK.

‘Brilliant – makes you feel what it’s like to be a refugee,’ (secondary school pupil)

‘Changed my mind about refugees,’ (secondary school pupil)

Escape to Safety is an exhibition that you walk through, listening to refugee stories, but it is also now a film that can be used for online learning.

Escape to Safety is suitable for the Citizenship curriculum for KS3 upwards, but also has strong links to English, PSHE, History, Geography and RE.

Using Escape to Safety for online learning

The activities below form a one hour lesson or workshop.

Learning Outcomes

  • Increased understanding of why refugees flee their countries
  • Increased understanding of the challenges finding safety in the UK
  • Increased understanding of the challenges of being an asylum seeker

Here you can listen to Global Link’s fifth Escape to Safety Soundtrack – now a digital story – produced in 2020

All students/participants will need to be able to watch the Escape to Safety ‘digital story’  online and listen to it through headphones. It is advisable that they look for the answers to the Comprehension questions as they are watching the digital story.

Explain to students/participants that they will be going on a virtual journey (which lasts 15 minutes). They will be virtually walking in the footsteps of 3 people who have had to flee their countries and are seeking asylum in the UK. The men are from Iran and Sudan. The woman is from Eritrea. You could start by finding these countries on a map.

Before embarking on their journey, ask them to fill in the documents here. Link to pre-journey activities here. Allow 15 minutes.

Then, ask them to don their headsets and press play to watch and listen to the Escape to Safety experience and answer the Comprehension sheet at the same time. Allow 16 minutes.

Finally, ask them to complete these post-journey activities

For further extension work, the script is available

Finally, please give Global Link feedback 

Escape to Safety Exhibition

Escape to safety is an interactive multimedia installation that enables you to experience something of what it is like to be a refugee seeking asylum in Britain. It is designed for young people and adults from the age of 11 upwards. It provides the opportunity to think about issues such as:

  • What is the welcome we want to give to refugees?
  • What is your image of asylum seekers in Britain?
  • Where does this image come from?

Each participant ‘walks in the shoes’ of the refugees from Eritrea, Iran and Sudan, through a labyrinth of 8 stations depicting the different stages a refugee experiences before seeking asylum in Britain. They listen to the refugee voices interacting with border and immigration officials and the media.


The first soundtrack was produced in 1999 with funding from Amnesty International. You can listen to the soundtrack here, though normally you would listen to it on headphones as you walk through the 8 small spaces in the physical exhibition.

You will follow in the footsteps of three refugees who came to Lancaster, one from Eritrea, one from Iran, and one from Sudan, all of whom have shared and recorded their own stories, over a haunting soundtrack of music by local musician Adrian Hughes. The soundtrack was written and produced by Gisela Renolds, recorded at Shireshead Studios, and funded by Lancashire County Council. For information about booking the full exhibition, please contact Gisela on 01524 36201.

Escape to Safety is an experiential experience combined with facts and figures that challenges racism towards refugees. Escape to Safety is premised on the idea that experiential learning is the most profound and effective form of learning.

The exhibition is suitable for Secondary School young people, and adults.

The installation measures 5.5m x 6.5m and is constructed out of forty 2.5m high fire-proofed hardboard panels, click on the image opposite for plan of the exhibition.

Transport and assembly is normally provided by Global link.

This multi-media exhibition can be erected in a large classroom or school hall for a week at a time. Global Link deliver, erect and collect the exhibition, and will provide training to use the exhibition, including teaching activities for teachers to deliver the workshops themselves. The cost of this is £680 for 1 - 2 weeks in your school or other setting.

‘Brilliant – makes you feel what it’s like to be a refugee,’ (secondary school pupil)

‘Changed my mind about refugees,’ (secondary school pupil)