Inspired by a charity day at his school, Rory set himself a goal of running 50 kilometres within the space of a month.
The eleven-year-old smashed his target, completing an incredible 73km, around 45 miles, throughout August, crossing the finishing line at the fire station to a hero’s welcome on Tuesday evening, supported by his dad, Stu Mangan:
“Rory came home from school one day determined to play his part and make a difference for the charity.
“No one asked him to do this, yet he set himself this goal, and the commitment and desire Rory’s demonstrated to not only complete the challenge but exceed his initial target, is inspirational.
“He loved every minute, and seeing the smile on his face when I told him someone had sponsored him, was fantastic. I am incredibly proud of Rory and all he has achieved.”
After he had crossed the finishing line, Rory wanted to thank those who had cheered him on:
“Thank you so much for your support, donations and organising the finish for me, I loved it with everyone there.”
Rory surpassed his initial target of £100, raising an amazing £760 which is expected to climb further, and will be added to Botley Fire Station’s Charity Sky Dive total.
The Botley firefighters are set to make their long-awaited parachute jump on Saturday 18 September, having postponed their initial attempt due to the pandemic.
The team of on-call firefighters are fundraising for The Fire Fighter’s Charity which has provided personal support for many of them and their families.
Stu, who is also Botley’s watch manager added:
“The charity has played an important role for a lot of our team and our families. From physical injuries to mental health challenges, The Fire Fighter’s Charity has been there to support us to continue in the job we love.
“We asked what we could do to challenge and push ourselves to raise as much money for the charity as possible, and the parachute seemed like an exciting idea. I’m not sure how good an idea it will be when we’re sat with our legs dangling out of the plane!”
“We’d like to thank Purbani Botley and Storage on Site, who have both been amazing and have played a huge part in raising the amount of money we have to date.”
As well as cheering Rory across the finishing line, the Botley crew formally opened their new wellbeing garden at their weekly Tuesday drill night.
In recent months the firefighters have worked alongside the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service Property and Facilities team to design and build the new green space on station, creating a relaxing and calm place to sit and reflect.
With the support of local companies who have donated materials, Botley have been able to create a new wellbeing garden for firefighters and other members of staff to enjoy, following in the footsteps of other stations such as Redbridge, Havant and St Mary’s.
“The garden allows the team at Botley a space to rest, relax, talk and gather our thoughts upon returning from traumatic incidents.
“The station is also used by many departments within the organisation and this space can be utilised for lunch breaks and gives the opportunity to take that all important time away from the computer.
“We’d like to thank our Property and Facilities team for their support with the project, Equestrian Fencing and Timber Ltd for supplying materials, the team at Jobs Cottage Nursery in Durley for donating flowers and Mark Grendon for assisting with the build.”
There’s still time to show your support for Rory and the Botley crew before they take their leap of faith, you can donate via their Just Giving page – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/botley-fire-thebigjump