Prime Minister David Cameron has launched a new award that will recognise some of the excellent examples of the Big Society in action taking place all around the country.
As well as celebrating the fantastic work already being carried out in neighbourhoods in every region, the Prime Minister hopes the Big Society Awards will inspire many more people to get involved in their community.
The PM said:
There are some amazing projects and remarkable voluntary work going on in towns and cities up and down the country, by all kinds of organisations from large enterprises to tiny grassroots schemes and inspirational individuals.
These awards are a chance to pay tribute to those making a valuable contribution to their community, the real champions of the Big Society, but perhaps more importantly, I hope they will motivate many others to take action, get involved and drive change in their area.
The Awards are not just for individuals - businesses, charities, community groups and other organisations are all eligible if they illustrate the Big Society in Action.
These might be:
- People or groups who are bringing their community together and helping to give people more power to take decisions and shape their area
- People who are transforming our public services, staff setting up their own cooperatives, or new providers or frontline staff finding innovative ways to deliver better services to the public
- Or people who are giving their time and money to help others, the unsung heroes changing lives in every neighbourhood of the country.
People will be able to submit nominations through a form. They will then go through a selection process which will eventually involve a panel of previous winners and individuals from civil society organisations, Government and the private sector.
Award winners will receive a letter from the Prime Minister, a Big Society Award plaque and will be invited to a regular Big Society Award Winners reception at Downing Street for Big Society champions.
The Awards kick off this week with the first winner, Central Surrey Health, a social enterprise whose innovation and commitment has driven huge improvements to their community nursing and therapy services.
Mr Cameron said:
Congratulations to Central Surrey Health on becoming the very first Big Society Award winners. They are an excellent example of people on the front line taking a stake in their organisation, driving real improvements and shaping the service they provide. Their innovation and commitment has made a real difference to their community nursing and therapy services.