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Guidelines and applications

The SANE Creative Awards Scheme presents an opportunity for those affected by mental ill-health to take a step towards realising their creative potential.

The scheme aims to improve the quality of life for people with mental health problems, their families and carers. 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.

Applications will be accepted for visual art encompassing all forms of painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, mixed media and digital art.

Proposals to purchase multi-use digital equipment such as smartphones or tablets will not be considered. Materials or equipment should only be used to help further applicants’ artistic goals.


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

*Please note the Creative Awards Scheme applications are now closed and will reopen later in the year.

Complete an application form.

Please ensure that you complete the section asking to outline how you would use the award, along with your experience of mental illness and how you see an award helping your creative development. In addition, include a brief description of how your art reflects and communicates your individual experiences.

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

Provide 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.

Include examples of your previous work where applicable.


Applications will only be accepted from people living in the United Kingdom. They 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 the applications and will aim to notify successful applicants as soon as practicable. 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 your work in this way.

Would a grant affect benefits entitlement?

People in receipt of benefits might be concerned that their entitlement could be adversely affected by an award. Please note 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

SANE will treat all personal information with the utmost confidentiality and in line with current data protection legislation. All personal details 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 on 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 1769.

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