Creative Awards Scheme

SANE Creative Awards Scheme


SANE has a long association with the arts, and for many years held a successful awards scheme which provided grants to individuals wishing to further their artistic development. The SANE Creative Awards Scheme builds on this tradition and presents an opportunity for those affected by mental ill-health to take a step towards realising their creative potential.

The SANE Creative Awards Scheme was launched in May 2019. This built on the success of the charity’s previous Art Award scheme that began in 1994 and helped many painters, photographers and craftspeople - some of whom embarked on successful careers as a result.

The new scheme aims to improve the quality of life for people with mental health problems, their families and carers. It awards grants to individuals to buy materials, enrol on courses, hold exhibitions and develop creative potential.

Applicants are judged on their artistic merit, clarity of aim and financial need. Awards range from £100 to £300. Applications are assessed by a panel, which includes members of SANE and experienced art professionals who offer feedback, guidance and advice.

In two rounds to date, applicants have submitted work of outstanding quality and 126 awards have been made.

The awards are given for proposals in visual art which, for the purposes of the scheme, includes all forms of painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, mixed media and digital art.

So far there has been an overwhelming response with applicants submitting work of outstanding quality.

A grant from the SANE Creative Awards Scheme can enable those who may not otherwise be able to afford materials, courses or other costs to help fulfil creative potential.

Marjorie Wallace CBE, Chief Executive of SANE, said:

"We are thrilled at the response we’ve received and overwhelmed by the superb quality of artwork, as well as the power and poignancy of the written submissions. It has brought us joy to see what our grants have enabled recipients to do, the encouragement they have provided, and what people may be able to achieve in the future.”

SANE is working in partnership with the Open College of the Arts, the distance learning arm of the University for the Creative Arts.

Robert Enoch, Open College of the Arts Assessor, said:

“SANE’s Creative Award Scheme has inspired and motivated many artists – with debilitating and serious mental health conditions – to take part and reach out with their creative abilities and share their deepest nature. The high standard of submissions and the overall potential of the artists who took part sheds light on the human motive to search, explore and discover inner resources."


The Charles Bracken Award

In 2020, SANE established the Charles Bracken Award in honour of Charles Bracken MBE, who died on 27 January 2020. Charles was a founding Director and recent Chairman of SANE, who gave 35 years of his life in supporting the charity and pioneering its development.

This award is made annually in recognition of exceptional talent in communicating the relationship between creative achievement and mental illness. The winner, shortlisted from the award scheme applicants and selected by SANE representatives, professional artists from the Open College of the Arts and Madeline Bracken, will receive £1,000 (runner-up £400), which can be used towards the cost, for example, of materials, enrolment on courses and exhibitions.

To find out more about the award and the most recent winners, go to The Charles Bracken Award page.




Applications are now open for the next round and should be received by Thursday 30 September 2021.

To apply, please download an application form at (Word doc)

For information on the application process, please download the Guide to Applying at (PDF)

Completed application forms should be returned to Thomas Andrews, SCAS Project Officer, by emailing, or by post to Thomas Andrews, SANE, St Mark’s Studios, 14 Chillingworth Road, London, N7 8QJ.

If you would like more information, please call SANE on 0203 805 1790.

Miles to Go Before I Sleep by Camille Ormston

Charles Bracken Award: WINNER

Miles to Go Before I Sleep by Camille Ormston

Forest Path by Ashley Ferrari

Charles Bracken Award: RUNNER-UP

Forest Path by Ashley Ferrari