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Guidelines and applications

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 awards may be used to help purchase materials, make a contribution towards course costs and, in the case of carers, offer support towards the cost of replacement care.

The awards may be used to help purchase materials, make a contribution towards course costs and, in the case of carers, offer support towards the cost of replacement care.

There are three levels of awards to apply for – £100, £200 and £300. In time, the scheme may invite applications for proposals across all art forms, however, for this round we will be accepting applications for visual art only.

For the purposes of the scheme, visual arts encompass all forms of painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, mixed media and digital art.


The Creative Awards Scheme is open to:

  • Any person who has a diagnosed mental health condition
  • Anyone acting as a full-time carer for such a person
  • Individuals who belong to both groups

How to apply

Complete an application form.

Write a letter outlining your proposal, your experience of mental illness and how you see an award helping your creative development. Please include a brief description of how your art reflects and communicates your individual experiences.

Please state the level of award you are applying for – £100, £200 or £300.

Include the contact details of a referee – this may be a mental health professional or other relevant person. In the case of a carer, please provide a personal referee.

Please include examples of your previous work where applicable.

Return your completed application form along with a letter stating your reasons for applying and photos of your work either via email or by post.

Please send completed applications to or by post to Thomas Andrews, SANE, St Mark’s Studios, 14 Chillingworth Road, London, N7 8QJ.


Applications will only be accepted from people living in the United Kingdom.

Applications will not be accepted regarding proposals for political activities, creative activities outside the visual arts, or towards the costs of mainstream educational courses that lead to academic, vocational or professional qualifications.

What happens next?

A panel will meet to consider applications and will aim to notify successful applicants within two months of the closing date. If selected, applicants will be sent a letter and acceptance form which will outline the terms of the award. Those who are unsuccessful will also be contacted during this period. What we expect:

  • The provision of receipts from costs incurred in pursuit of proposal aims
  • Evidence of works or endeavours enabled by the granting of awards
  • A short report on the progress that the award recipient has made towards achieving their proposal

Use of images and text

We would like to use images and material from those receiving awards to reach others and promote the scheme. Please let us know if you would prefer us not to use you work in this way.

Would a grant affect grants entitlement?

People in receipt of benefits might be concerned that their entitlement could be adversely affected by an award such as this. However, the present situation regarding gifts or grants is that any income from voluntary sources is disregarded completely. An individual in receipt of benefits is allowed to have savings of up to £6,000 before there is any reduction in their benefit payments.

Data protection

All of the information provided is necessary and relevant to the application process. SANE will treat all personal information with the utmost confidentiality and in line with current data protection legislation. All personal information provided by applicants and referees will be stored securely, accessed by key personnel only and disposed of safely as soon as it is no longer needed. For more information data and privacy, see SANE’s Privacy Policy.

Further information

If you require any clarification or have any further questions please contact Thomas Andrews at or call 020 3805 1790.

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