Liberal Lonely Hearts: An online date for charity to heat up your summer

‘If it ends up being true love, CULA will subsidise the wedding’


I know what you’re thinking, another Cambridge dating event. Maybe your RAG Blind Date didn’t go so well and you’re still reliving the trauma in your sleep-paralysis dreams. Maybe you dread the thought of another zoom call. But let’s face it, all your attempts at securing a date on Tinder have failed miserably, and your quarantine fling died a slow and painful death when restrictions finally lifted. All this to say, you have nothing better to do right now and you may as well give this a go – it is for charity after all!

The Cambridge Tab sat down with the co-creators of Liberal Lonely Hearts, Sophie and Freddie, to find out more about the event, and why they think you should all sign up:

Liberal Lonely Hearts is a very light-hearted attempt at running something similar to RAG Blind Dates, but with a liberal spin. We didn’t think there was a more entertaining way to raise money for charity than through match-making, so it’s really just a tongue-in-cheek effort at rekindling some Cambridge romance.

“Our major USP is our small ‘l’ liberalism: whatever pairing you want – hetero or homo, ménage à trois or ménage à quatre – the options are endless. Of course, we don’t expect this to be taken very seriously, but if romance does spark then what a brilliant bonus.”

Before you ask, no, you DO NOT need to be a CULA member or identify as liberal to sign up. Sophie and Freddie have assured me that plenty of non-liberals have already joined the event and that your date doesn’t have to consist of prosecco-drinking and political debate unless you really want it to (Although, I have been told that almost all of the CULA committee will be participating – and I won’t name any names – but I know that some of you have been waiting for this exact opportunity for a while. May the matching odds be ever in your favour x).

Seriously, who wouldn’t want to go on a date with one of these lovely looking people (Image credit: Laura Ryan)

Speaking of matching, Liberal Lonely Hearts is proud to mention that they’ll be using an algorithm to put people together, so you won’t be relying on their judgement alone (Don’t worry, this one’s not generated by Ofqual!). You sign up by filling in a form which features some of the most important date-related questions, such as “Which Liberal MP do you find most attractive?” and “Should people be able to walk down the street naked?” – so I can’t imagine you’ll find a more accurate match anywhere else.

As previously mentioned, the whole event is aimed at raising money for charity. CULA is fundraising through this event for GiveDirectly, a nonprofit which lets you send money to the world’s lowest-income households, working mainly in Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda. When you sign up, you donate £5 through a bank transfer which enables you to take part. According to Sophie, this is one of the most cost-effective ways you can give to charity right now: 

What’s really brilliant about GiveDirectly is that 83% of the cash donated ends up directly in the pockets of the poorest, making it one of the top charities for improving lives per dollar donated. It also strikes a particularly liberal chord, in the sense that individuals can choose how to spend money in the way they think they need it the most, rather than relying on charities to decide for them.”

CULA’s super used to running online events by now, so you’ll be in perfectly safe hands (Image credit: Laura Ryan)

And the opportunity to give doesn’t stop there. Once you’ve donated to GiveDirectly, you also have the opportunity to sign up to a stem cell register in aid of Anthony Nolan, a UK charity saving the lives of people with blood cancer. Sophie explains why Liberal Lonely Hearts is your perfect opportunity to support this cause:

“Once Anthony Nolan sends you a swab in the post, they’ll see if you’re a match to anyone needing a stem cell transplant. So, once you’ve found your perfect romantic match, you can go a little further and find your true match through Anthony Nolan. The register is currently in urgent need of more people, so there’s really no better time to sign up!”

Although we all know that online dating and general communication with other human beings has the potential to be hugely awkward and embarrassing, the rewarding feeling of donating and contributing to charity can hopefully make up for it. Plus, Liberal Lonely Hearts have plenty of rules in place to help things run as smoothly as possible: 

“We’re designing the dates specifically to give you something to talk about. You’ll see on the form that there are options to describe your ideal date, give your favourite hobbies, etc., which gives us a lot of things to play with in designing a guide for each date.” You’ll get sent a Zoom link with a date and time, along with some basic instructions and ideas for your date which you’re free to either play along with or ignore completely. And of course, an online date comes with the beautiful gift of the best get-out excuse possible, “oops, your video’s frozen”. 

So all in all, there are many reasons why you should think about signing up for a date. Sophie and Freddie hope they’ve convinced to go for it becausea). it’s a bit of light-hearted fun and b). there’s a genuine chance you *could* meet somebody you really like, and, if it ends up being true love, CULA will subsidise the wedding.”

Just be prepared for this lot to turn up at your reception (Image credit: Astrid Godfrey)

You can find out more about signing up for a date with Liberal Lonely Hearts by clicking on their Facebook event. The deadline to hand in your forms and donate is the 26th of August, and dates will happen on the 28th and 29th. Best of luck lovers xx

Featured image credit: Sophie West