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Five dates for do-gooders. Volunteering together is a great way to bond

TIRED of over-priced flowers, expensive restaurants and pink plastic tat? Why not spend your next date doing something meaningful with that special someone?

Doing something charitable as a couple can be a great way to bond. It will certainly leave you with some fantastic shared memories – plus it makes you look like a nice and caring person, which is hot.

  1. Walk a dog

Have you or your other half always wanted a pooch but never had the time or the space? This is the next best thing. The Cinnamon Trust looks after the pets of elderly, infirm and terminally ill people and they always need volunteers to walk dogs. What could be more romantic than frolicking through one of Cardiff’s many parks, just the two of you and a grateful hound?

Check http://www.cinnamon.org.uk/volunteers for details of nearby dogs that need walks.

  1. Donate food to refugees in Calais

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Cardiff’s Riverside Market is a great place for a date. After you and your beau have strolled through the stalls, chatted to cheesemakers and haggled over delicious home-made pies, you can take the opportunity to help those in need. Every Sunday, the market’s founder Steve Garrett collects food and money to take across the Channel to people living in the Calais jungle.

See the Riverside Refugee Community Kitchen Facebook page for more information on how you can help.

  1. Get hot and sweaty together

If you are both sporty types you can enter Cardiff’s upcoming Cancer Research Race for Life. Raise money, fight cancer and see your date at their beetroot-coloured best. The 5k and 10k runs are taking place in June so there is plenty of time for you to get training.

If running for hours isn’t your idea of a hot date but you still want to help out, you could volunteer as course marshals and help inspire, motivate and cheer on runners.

The Cardiff Race for Life takes place on 17 June and Cancer Research are looking for volunteers to man the course.

  1. Get down and dirty

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The Cardiff Conservation Volunteers give up their time to maintain our green spaces. If you and your partner love the outdoors then this could be the perfect date for you. Get your hands dirty together laying hedges, clearing undergrowth or unclogging streams and get a workout into the bargain. It beats a cheap box of chocolates and a Hugh Grant film any day!

The Conservation Volunteers meet  at 9am on Sundays outside Cardiff Museum.

  1. Shop ethically

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What says “I love you” more than a present from a big chain store made in some Bangladeshi sweatshop? A day shopping for vintage, pre-loved artefacts at Cardiff’s Indoor Flea Market, that’s what! While away an afternoon looking through their enormous warehouse and snag a bargain from the huge range of eclectic vintage collectables, furniture and homewares.

The Cardiff Indoor Flea Market is open Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays in Tremorfa.

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