The Prime Minister, David Cameron, has launched a series of awards for organisations that can show they are examples of the big society in action.
The Big Society Award will be given to two or three organisations every month, for an indefinite period, chosen from nominations made on the Number 10 website. A panel of judges, including government ministers and officials, previous award winners, charities and businesses will decide who will receive the awards.
Central Surrey Health, a not-for-profit organisation that provides community nursing and therapy services and is co-owned and run by its nursing and therapy teams, has been named as the first winner of the award.
A Downing Street spokeswoman said charities, community groups, businesses, local authorities and social enterprises would all be eligible to win the award so long as they "illustrate the big society in action".
Winners would receive a certificate and be invited to receptions at 10 Downing Street, where they could meet the Prime Minister, the spokeswoman said.
She said she was unable to provide information on how much the government was planning to spend on the scheme.
In a statement, Cameron said: "These awards are a chance to pay tribute to those making a valuable contribution to their community but, perhaps more importantly, I hope they will motivate others to take action."