There’s hitting your target, there’s smashing your target, and then there’s young Rory Haywood – all set to go 100 times over it!

Not bad for a sponsored walk by a youngster who cannot walk.

But then Rory is a very special youngster, as proved by his big social media following and his ability to raise funds.

There were many times when Rory’s mum Kathryn Jones wondered if her son would make it, even to the tender age of three.

He has Down’s Syndrome but also a suffered from rare condition called Hydrops which meant fluid built up in his body before he was born, putting pressure on his internal organs and damaging his lungs.

After he was born he was in and out of intensive care, caught sepsis and had surgery for a bowel obstruction.

But Rory has come through it all to the point where Kathryn and dad James Haywood from Oldswinford in Stourbridge have set him a sponsored walk challenge as part of their encouragement to get him walking on his own.

The aim on March 21 – World Down’s Syndrome Day – is to get Rory to walk 2.1 times around the Mary Stevens Park pond.

It’ll be a leisurely affair, for happy-go-lucky Rory likes to stop and chat with everyone he meets, and feed the ducks, or just stop for a snack on the way.

And why 2.1 laps?

Kathryn is a member of the Ups and Downs support group in Halesowen and the organiser asked members if they could each raise £21 to help during a tough year when Covid has hit them hard and they have had to temporarily move from their base.

The 2.1 laps matched the £21 target, but Kathryn shouldn’t have bothered.

Within half an hour of posting it the total had hit 10 times that; within an hour it was on £600. Now it’s passed £1,600, and while Kathryn won’t reset it to £2,100, most people who have been watching the fund grow and grow think that’s definitely achievable.

If and when Rory does hit his 100 x £21 total the money will be split between Ups and Downs and the Three Roses Residential Home in Clent for adults with learning disabilities.

“I just think there is always a lot of support for children’s charities but not so much adults,” said Kathryn, a district nurse at Halesowen.

When taking a break from vaccinating vulnerable patients at their homes, Kathryn has been doing a ‘bit of training’ with Rory in the garden.

His challenge has created loads of interest on social media.

“Everybody wants to come and see him do it. We need to be careful or we will need crowd control.

“I’m gobsmacked we have raised so much. But Rory has got quite a following. And he loves the attention.”

To help Rory to hit his target 100 times over, go to: