Maryam and Joe: Behind Closed Doors

Maryam and Joe: Behind Closed Doors is our interactive social-media style simulation, which was developed with funding from the Home Office. It is a prevent safeguarding training tool on the routes to radicalisation and extremism and seeks to educate professionals and children on the dangers of grooming for radicalisation via social media and through face-to-face contact.

The simulation has been developed to allow professionals and children to spot the signs of radicalisation in two different scenarios; firstly, through the online, social-media life of Maryam (aged 15) and her sisters and secondly, through the online and personal relationships of Joe (aged 20) and his family.

Both stories are suitable for children and young adults and they focus on grooming processes; what to do to help safeguard children; and the influence and impact of their behaviour and actions on their families.

Group of young people standing in front of a wall

Using ‘traffic light’ and ‘emoji’ rating systems, participants are encouraged to input their thoughts on how and why the characters are being groomed. Real-life news clips from Sky news and the BBC open each scene and offer the opportunity to discuss complex topics in relation to radicalisation and British values. These include hate crime, freedom of speech, propaganda, online grooming, far right extremism and terrorism. The simulation can be used to support spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development in lessons such as Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE), citizenship, and aspects of history, English and general studies.  

To find out more about the development of Maryam and Joe: Behind Closed Doors, please visit our research website.

This is one of the most useful and professional resources I have come across. Interactive which students will appreciate.

Assistant Head, May 2019

Objectives of the training

Developed for professionals and children, the aims of the training are to:

  • provide a platform to develop understanding about the processes involved in radicalisation
  • raise awareness of the processes of grooming for radicalisation
  • heighten awareness of how children and students can be safeguarded, in particular the processes and staff involved in junior, secondary, tertiary and higher education
  • facilitate understanding of the different ideologies that underpin extremist and terrorist organisations
  • highlight the issues associated with children being recruited for direct action by Daesh
  • highlight the issues associated with children being groomed and recruited to right wing organisations
  • encourage discussion and reflect on the use and abuse of different social media platforms for the purposes of radicalisation 
  • look at the different policies and procedures that exist in organisations on radicalisation and to evaluate how they work in practice.

The Maryam and Joe: Behind Closed Doors simulation is designed for: 

  • teachers to use with children in the classroom or 1 to 1
  • vulnerable adults
  • child protection professionals including PEOs and youth group leaders.

Please see our booking page for details. 

The simulations are available for organisations, individuals and independent trainers. We are also happy to arrange a bespoke group session at your organisation. Please email 

Before booking your place, please note: unless formally agreed by the University of Kent, licences may not be used to generate income, licence holders may not be commissioned to deliver training and are not permitted to share enrolment details with others. Licences are for use within schools/organisations or for own CPD. Please read the Terms and Conditions before booking your place on the CPD session.

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