The Galaxy Hot Chocolate Fund is inviting applications from small local charities and community groups from across the UK and Ireland.

Returning for a sixth year, the Galaxy Hot Chocolate Fund will be giving away 70 awards of £300 over a 14-week period to local community projects across the UK and Ireland.

Local charities, community groups, and schools can apply for an award of £300 to help support sporting or leisure activities or hobbies that are beneficial to members of the community.

Each week, four of the five available awards will be selected by a panel of judges who will judge each entry on:

  • The extent to which the proposed initiative will help the local community in question.
  • The extent of the proposed initiative’s reach.
  • The perceived local need for such hobbies, sporting or leisure activities.

The remaining award will go to the project that has received the most public votes on the Galaxy Hot Chocolate website.

In addition, each week that the Fund runs, a further applicant will receive an “Outstanding Volunteer” award. The weekly winner of this award will be selected by NCVO (National Council for Voluntary Organisations) from all applications submitted that week. The weekly winner will be the applicant who, in the opinion of NCVO, shows extraordinary commitment as a volunteer to an organisation or charity or who undertakes significant fundraising activities. The weekly winner of an “Outstanding Volunteer” award will win a Galaxy Hot Chocolate Hamper.

Applications are quick and easy to fill out. Interested groups should fill in the online form and explain what their organisation does and why the £300 grant would be influential in carrying out their project. Unsuccessful entries will automatically be carried forward to the following week, although any public votes already secured will be discarded and voting will begin again for all projects.

There will be no winners selected during the period running from 19 December 2106 until 1 January 2017. Any applications submitted during this period will be combined with those submitted in the week commencing 2 January 2017.

The final deadline for applications is 26 February 2017 (11:59pm).

Full terms and conditions can be found on the Galaxy Hot Chocolate website

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