North London-based mental health charity SANE has announced the winner of an annual arts award.

The Charles Bracken Award recognises talent in communicating the relationship between creative achievement and mental illness.

It has gone to Camille Ormston, whose work takes in painting, drawing, sculpture, photography and poetry. She receives £1,000, which will enable her to mount her first exhibition.

Charles Bracken MBE, in whose on honour the award is presented, was a founding director and recent of chairman of SANE, and died in January 2020.

His widow, Madeline, is one of the judges and said: “Art is clearly so important in supporting feelings and messages about mental health and it was a privilege to be able to see all the entries. Charles would have been deeply moved and thankful that art provides so many benefits to mental health.”

Runner-up Ashley Ferrari will use her £400 award to buy larger canvases and hire studio space.

The award is part of the SANE Creative Awards Scheme, which also gives out arts grants.

Islington Gazette: Camille Ormston's Mile to Go Before I SleepCamille Ormston's Mile to Go Before I Sleep (Image: Camille Ormston)

Applications are open for a new round of awards of £100, £200 and £300, which are given for proposals in visual art.

The scheme aims to improve the quality of life for people with mental health problems, their families and carers, and so far 126 grants have been awarded.

Highgate's 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.”

Islington Gazette: Ashley Ferrari's Forest PathAshley Ferrari's Forest Path (Image: Ashley Ferrari)

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

Principal Will Woods said: "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."

Grant application forms can be found via