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19 Jul 2021

SANE launches third round of Creative Awards Scheme to inspire people affected by mental illness

SANE, the leading mental health charity, is delighted to open the third round of funding for the SANE Creative Awards Scheme following the overwhelming response to the previous rounds. 

The Creative Awards 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 their creative potential. Applicants are judged on their artistic merit, clarity of aim and financial need. There are three levels of awards to apply for, £100, £200 and £300.

Applications are assessed by a panel, which includes members of SANE and experienced art professionals who offer feedback, guidance and advice.

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

Camille Ormston - Miles To Go Before I Sleep

A grant can enable those who may not otherwise be able to afford materials, courses or other costs to help fulfil their creative potential. In two rounds to date, applicants have submitted work of outstanding quality and 126 awards have been made.

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.

Will Woods, Principal and CEO of the Open College of the Arts, said:

“Over the past two years these awards have shown us the highest quality of artistic potential and standard. A large number of awards were made during the pandemic when our society was most vulnerable, reflecting the proactive support provided by SANE to potential applicants. Most importantly, the art that has been produced as a consequence of this scheme is helping successful applicants to gain confidence, creativity, self-expression and encouragement. This is hugely valuable.

Photographic artist Corinne Perry, one of the beneficiaries of the second round, said:

“Thank you so much. I’m so happy to have been successful and know the award will deeply support my artistic development.”

The Charles Bracken Award

In 2020, SANE established the Charles Bracken Award in honour of Charles Bracken MBE, who died on 27th 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.

The award, which runs alongside the SANE Creative Awards Scheme, 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 Charles’ widow Madeline Bracken will receive £1,000 (runner-up £400).


Due to continuing interest, we have extended the closing date for applications for this round of the scheme to Friday 29 October 2021.

To apply, please download an application form [Word doc – 111KB]

For information on the application process, please download the Guide to Applying [PDF – 425KB]

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.

Image – Miles to Go Before I Sleep by Camille Ormston: “The search for truth, beauty and goodness is a game of chess we play with ourselves. Darkness and light, we are both but don’t recognise it.”

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