charitable-challenge News

Through the City of dreaming spires…

Three of the team members from Urban Element are taking part in the Oxfordshire Half Marathon in October, a hair raising challenge to increase donations for SpecialEffect, a charity whose expertise are dedicated to helping individuals develop skills through technology.

Urban Element will be writing a series of blogs, following the project process we have in place for our clients. Goal setting is used by professional athletes, triumphant business-people and achievers in all fields. Setting goals provides long-term vision and short-term motivation. The consultancy stage of our process is about working these targets out and the rest is about achieving these objectives, a similar process to how Mark, Jon and Natasha will prepare for their challenge!


SpecialEffect was founded in 2007, within months it became obvious that there was a huge demand for help and advice. Since then the charity has had no option but to grow in size to meet that demand, and they now have eight full-time and three part-time staff members, along with a welcomed army of volunteers and an active group of SpecialEffect Ambassadors.

By using technology ranging from modified joypads to eye-control, SpecialEffect are always finding a way for people to play to the very best of their abilities. But it is not all about the fun. The foundation also allows friends and families to come together and have a profoundly positive impact on therapy, confidence and rehabilitation. You can find out more about the charity here.

The Challenge


The Half Marathon sits within the iconic Oxfordshire City. The runners will pass spectacular backdrops including Christ Church Meadow, The infamous Oxford Universities and of course, the River Thames. New this year, is a path through the MINI Plant production facility with an impressive finish line at the Kassam Stadium. The route is 13.1 miles and will be accommodating up to 6,000 runners. Time to Meet the team!

The Urban Element Team

 Jon Ellard – Managing Director

We feel Jon is a subtle competitor and will do Urban Element proud! Jon is running for SpecialEffect to raise awareness of their dedication and what they do and, with Mark and Natasha, intends to raise £1,000 for the foundation. Having ran 4 half marathons before, Jon is looking forward to his first ever Oxfordshire half marathon. Follow Jon on Twitter @Urban_Element for all of his training efforts (or perhaps mishaps!)

 Natasha Wood – General Manager

Natasha is running for SpecialEffect to show her support for the charity and to help raise awareness of their remarkable efforts. The half marathon is also an opportunity to set as a goal to get her back in training after her son Joshua was born in August of last year. Being used to training in three disciplines for triathlons, Natasha is losing the handle bars and swapping a swimsuit for trainers for her first ever half marathon. Bring on the girl power! Follow Natasha on Twitter for all her training updates @Urban_Element_

 Mark Lyne – Senior Graphic Designer

Mark is an avid half marathon runner, he is often used to running two a year. When he tells you about his passion for half marathons, he tells you like he means it! Running has been put on hold in recent years since having his two children, but being a bit of a pro, we are sure he knows what he’s doing!

 “Running in the colours of SpecialEffect will be an incredible priviledge, what they do is amazing work” – we agree Mark!

If you would like to help team UE reach their £1,000 goal and spur them on, you can help them by donating here or by clicking the ‘Virgin Money Giving’ image below. We would also ask that if you join us for one of our complimentary social media workshops, that you donate what you feel the seminar would be worth. Thank you for supporting UE.



Jon Ellard
- Director

A results driven, self-motivated and resourceful director with a proven ability to develop and strengthen client relationships. With 14 years marketing experience Jon’s main focus is to ensure clients receive return on investment from their online investment. Jon has excellent people skills and possesses the valuable ability to explain technically-complex subjects and make them comprehensible.


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