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11 Feb 2020

SANE launches second round of its Creative Awards Scheme

SANE, the leading mental health charity, today opens the second round of funding for the SANE Creative Awards Scheme (SCAS), following the overwhelming response to its launch last year. 

The aim of the scheme is to improve the quality of life of people with mental health problems, their families and carers, by helping them to fulfil their creative potential.

SCAS makes grants to individuals to enable them to engage in creative and educational activities, such as taking an evening course in photography, or creating a piece of art. Awards range from £75 to £300.

The scheme is open to anyone with a mental health problem, or a carer.

Marjorie Wallace, Chief Executive of SANE, says:

“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”

SANE is working in partnership on this scheme with the Open College of the Arts, the distance learning arm of the University for the Creative Arts. It will be providing advice, guidance and members of the awards assessment panel.

Will Woods, Principal of the Open College of the Arts, says:

“Following on from the success of the first round of awards, we are very pleased to again be supporting SANE in the Creative Awards Scheme. This scheme has the potential to have a real impact on people’s lives and we look forward to continuing to support this endeavour to support mental health through creativity, and exploring with SANE innovative approaches to art as therapy.”

The Charles Bracken Award

SANE is delighted to announce, as part of the SCAS, 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.

The Charles Bracken Award, to a value of £1,000, will be made annually 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 second round of SCAS builds on the success of the first round, in which fifty-two awards were issued.

One of the beneficiaries of the first round was Lydia May Francis-Askew, an artist and writer who is keen to develop her skills after a difficult time at university. Lydia experiences anxiety and depression and is using her award to help meet the costs of a printmaking course.

She says:

“It took me two and a half years to get myself through the doors of the printmaking workshop. I would panic about the people, about having to find space, about asking for help, about having to have instructions repeated – fear had paralysed me. I discovered that while art didn’t fix me, it could help get me to the next moment. At the end of an otherwise bad day I get to see a part of myself I can say that I love, that is beautiful and mean it.

“Thank you so much! I can’t tell you how much I needed that confidence leg-up.”

Lydia May Francis-Askew , SANE Creative Awards Scheme beneficiary


Anyone wishing to apply for an award should complete an application form downloadable from the Creative Awards Scheme page and return it to Thomas Andrews, SCAS Project Officer, by email to 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.

Applications should be received by Friday 29 May 2020. 

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