Creative Awards Scheme

SANE Creative Awards Scheme


The SANE Creative Awards Scheme aims to improve the quality of life for people with mental health problems, their families and carers, by helping them to fulfil their creative potential. The scheme was launched in May 2019, building on the success of the previous Art Award scheme which helped many painters, sculptors, photographers and craftspeople, some of whom embarked on successful careers as a result.    

Awards range from £75 to £300 and are given for the cost of materials, specific projects, training courses, or funds for relief cover for carers. The scheme is open to anyone with a mental health problem, or a carer. Applications are assessed by a panel, which includes practising artists.

Proposals can be submitted for works of visual art. For the purposes of the scheme, visual art encompasses all forms of painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, mixed media and digital art.

SANE is working in partnership with the Open College of the Arts, the distance learning arm of the University for the Creative Arts, which is providing advice, guidance and members of the awards assessment panel.

“We hope this scheme will encourage people to translate their experience into creative expression. We have been incredibly moved by both the talent and stories people shared with us in the first round of awards, and the way in which our relatively small contribution can revive a person’s self-esteem and artistic ambition.” 

Marjorie Wallace CBE 

Following the launch of the second round of the scheme last year, we are pleased to announce that 74 awards were made at the end of last year, reflecting breadth of ambition and high quality of work.

The Charles Bracken Award

As part of the scheme, the Charles Bracken Award will be made annually in honour of Charles Bracken MBE, who died on 27th January 2020. Charles was a founding Director and Chairman of SANE, who gave 35 years of his life in supporting the charity and pioneering its development.

This award, to a value of £1,000, will be made in recognition of exceptional talent in communicating the relationship between creative endeavour and mental illness. It will be able to cover creative and educational activities such as creating pieces of artwork, enrolling on a course or holding an exhibition. The first award will be made later this year.

A further round of the scheme will be announced in the coming months. Please check the website periodically for details.

If you would like more information about the SANE Creative Awards Scheme, please contact Thomas Andrews on 07932 693 663, or by email