The Big Society Network

exists to support and develop talent, innovation and enterprise to deliver social impact.

By working with business, philanthropists, charities and social ventures we believe we can unleash the social energy that exists in the UK to help build a better, healthier society.


Prime Minister David Cameron welcomes some of Britain’s most inspiring organisations and individuals to Downing Street to recognise and celebrate their contribution to British society

Organised by Big Society Network, fourteen exceptional groups, each working to tackle problems and improve lives in their local areas, gathered before the Prime Minister on the evening of 21 June in recognition of having won Big Society Awards.

The award winners support their communities in a large range of ways: from Halifax’s ‘Street Angels‘, who have cut violent crime by 42% by volunteering to help others on the streets at night, to Pete Ashton’s ‘Social Media Surgeries which provide free, informal advice to charities and community groups on how to harness the power of social media.

The winners came from a wide geographical spread, with the ‘Public Achievement‘ initiative claiming Northern Ireland’s first award in the series, and from both the non-profit and commercial sectors, with larger corporations like Waitrose’s ‘Community Matters‘  scheme also being recognised.

This exceptional group of award winners came from across Great Britain to spend the day being treated to a professionally facilitated networking discussion at the Treasury, followed by an evening of celebration with the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“Government has got an enormous role in providing welfare and education and health care and helping the poor and the vulnerable and those who cannot help themselves. But the fact is we will never really build a strong society and a strong country and a strong community unless we have incredible groups, enterprises, charities and voluntary bodies that not only fill so many gaps in our country, but also provide inspiration, enterprise, and incredibly exciting new ideas.

“I think it is a vital part of the Big Society that people feel they can give, they can contribute, and they can play a part. We should encourage more of that in our society because to me that is a really important vision for the future of our country.”

Big Society Awards are given to shining examples of the Big Society in action. The celebration marks the beginning of an ongoing relationship between Big Society Network and the award winners, by showcasing stories and nurturing winners through networking events, knowledge sharing platforms and online promotion. The Big Society Awards website launched at the event will enable the public to engage with individual award winners.

Steve Moore, Chief Executive of the Big Society Network said,

“It’s a remarkable day where we pay tribute to remarkable organisations… these awards are about recognising the amazing contributions they’ve all made to our society, and the Big Society Network looks forward to working with them in the future.”

Prior to being welcomed by the Prime Minister, winners were given the opportunity to take part in a professional networking event at the Treasury, facilitated by Karl James of The Dialogue Project, where they explored ways to work together, met key opinion formers and enjoyed practical sessions on campaigning with John O’Brien of Jubilee Hour and ‘How to perfect your pitch’ by Peter Botting.

Nominations for the next round of awards are now open. Please see the website for details.


For information please contact Lucy Windmill via


Halifax Street Angels ( was launched in November 2005 to address some of the issues around the night-time economy in Halifax town centre on Friday and Saturday nights.

Pete Ashton’s Social Media Surgeries ( provide free, informal advice to charities and community groups on how to harness the power of social media.

Public Achievement ( is Northern Ireland’s leading youth focused civic education organisation. Their work is built around a model of ‘Civic Youth Work’ ( and involves supporting young people to do real work on real issues in their communities.

Community Matters ( is a Waitrose scheme where each month every Waitrose branch donates £1,000 (£500 in Convenience shops) between three local good causes chosen by customers.

The Dialogue Project ( creates and inspires opportunities for people to talk to each other, helping and enabling businesses, schools, organisations and individuals.

Jubilee Hour ( aims to recognise Her Majesty the Queen’s 60 years of public service by encouraging people to undertake 60 minutes of volunteering, or an act of goodwill. You can pledge your Jubilee hour to be done at any time in the Jubilee year.

Peter Botting ( With over 20 years and 24 000 hours of coaching, and a double qualifier of Malcom Gladwell’s 10 000 hour rule, Peter has helped a Prime Minister, Members of Parliament, companies, charities and Board Members of European PLC’s to craft and deliver winning narratives.


Share this blog:

Share This Share on Facebook Share by Email

Leave a reply

+ 9 = 18