Volunteering is a fantastic way to give back to your community in a positive way, take a step back from the daily grind and do something good for others, I myself have been volunteering in various charities for the last three years and it has been an amazing experience.
With Valentines Day fast approaching there will be many single guys reading this and dreading it, well it may sound obvious but the answer to singledom is get out there and meet people! And Volunteering is a great way to do just that! Have a read of Ryans story for a bit of inspiration below:
Last year Ryan Postlethwaite logged onto the website Join In to look for matches. But he wasn’t looking for romance, he was looking for local volunteer opportunities. Six months on from Glasgow 2014, Ryan and girlfriend Charlie share how their experience as a Clyde-sider led to love.
Last year Ryan applied to be part of the 15,000 strong Commonwealth Games volunteer team. What he didn’t expect was that 330 miles away in Truro, his future girlfriend Charlie Tombs was also scrolling through the thousands of Join In opportunities and applying for the same role.
29 year-old Ryan and Charlie, 26, both found out about Join In following their experience at the London 2012 Olympics, where they were both volunteer Games Makers.
“I volunteered for the Commonwealth Games on the background of the amazing experience I had during the London 2012 Paralympic Games. To be involved in such events is exhilarating. From meeting athletes that demonstrate exceptional talent, hard-work and determination to working with new people that I may not have met otherwise.”
Fast forward to the Commonwealth Games and Charlie and Ryan were both selected to be Clyde-siders. They were placed on the same anti-doping team of 25 based in the athletics stadium in Hampden Park.
Ryan explains that it was love at first sight, “There was an immediate attraction on my part when I saw her on the first day. On the second day, we got talking and it turned out that we were both camping in the same campsite! We started hanging out together when we were off shift and hit it off right away.”
Ryan recalls his most memorable experience of volunteering at Glasgow, “The best moment in Glasgow was the men’s 4x100m relay final. Me and Charlie were literally stood on the finish line watching Usain Bolt in action. I think we’d only known each other for about 6 days but I remember being so happy that I’d spent it with Charlie – It was such a surreal experience and hopefully something we’ll be able to tell our grandchildren about.”
Ryan and Charlie kept their relationship discreet, keeping their romance secret from their team – or so they thought! The funniest moment that stands out for Charlie was during their last night at the Games, “Ryan was presented with a certificate by our station manager that read ‘Most Fun Award – for succeeding in more ways than just anti-doping’. So much for us thinking that our relationship was on the down-low and that no-one in our team knew!”
Glasgow 2014 came to an end but was just the beginning of Charlie and Ryan’s relationship. Ryan shares their plans for the future, “We decided after the Games that we would stay together and the rest, as they say, is history!”
Road to Rio
“We’re already counting down to Rio 2016 – I’m still hoping that could be our honeymoon destination but I’m not quite sure what Charlie thinks about that!”
“Charlie finishes her degree this summer and is moving to Manchester so we can live together, and hopefully spend the rest of our lives living out the dream! I definitely feel fortunate to have volunteered as I’ve met someone who I love to bits and want to spend the rest of my life with.”
To find your perfect match visit joininuk.org