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SANE Creative Awards Scheme

SANE has a long association with the arts and for many years held a successful awards scheme provided grants to individuals wishing to further their artistic development.

Sane Creative Awards Scheme - They Knew Where the Witches Were Maria

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.

Pictured: They Knew Where The Witches Were by Maria

The 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.

“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.”

Marjorie Wallace CBE, SANE Founder and Chief Executive
SANE Creative Awards Scheme - George J Harding Glastonbury

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.


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 their creative potential.

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

Pictured: Glastonbury by George Harding

“SANE’s Creative Award Scheme has inspired and motivated many artists.”

Robert Enoch, Open College of the Arts Assessor

View a brochure showcasing the Creative Awards Scheme (PDF, 9MB).

The Charles Bracken Award

In 2020, SANE established The Charles Bracken Award in honour of Charles Bracken MBE. Charles was a founding Director and recent Chairman of SANE.

This award is made annually in recognition of exceptional talent in communicating the relationship between creative achievement and mental illness.

Find out more about The Charles Bracken Award.

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