Reducing harm caused by alcohol

For Parents/Guardians

Rory is a resource aimed at primary school children.

The resource pack is based on the Rory storybook which tells the story of a dog who can’t understand why his owner is acting a certain way, until it’s explained to him that his owner is behaving this way because he drinks too much alcohol.

Rory encourages the exploration of emotions and the importance of relationships and asking for help. Rory sensitively explores how alcohol can affect families and can help children understand the feelings they might experience if they are being affected by someone’s drinking.

For children who are not affected, Rory aims to help children to develop empathy for others who are afffected, and to use the life skills they learn in lots of other ways. Adults reading the book will also gain a better understanding of the impact of parental drinking from a child’s point of view.

The Rory resource can be used by teachers and a range of other practitioners and professionals who work with children and / or families. Alcohol Focus Scotland provides training to support those teachers and practitioners who are using the resource.

Following an independent evaluation of Rory in 2012, the Rory resources have been updated to provide a range of interactive and age appropriate materials for use with children aged 5 to 11 years.

“Rory gives an opening, even general discussion about parents drinking, not necessarily as a worry; it just allows a space to talk about alcohol, a space”

(Teacher Glasgow)

What will my child be learning?

Age 5 – 7 years

There is no discussion about alcohol specifically, the focus is instead on emotions, friendships, relationships, empathy, caring, life skills, and how to cope in difficult situations.

Age 8 – 9 years

At this stage the focus is now more on alcohol and the impact of parental drinking on Rory. Advice is given to children on where to get help and support when they feel troubled.

Age 10 – 11 years

The key focus is on the impact of alcohol on Rory and the other characters in the story. There is also a focus on the impact of alcohol more generally on families and communities, and the choices people face in life.