A MALVERN-based theatre company which runs activities for people with disabilities has received an welcome Christmas thanks to Malvern Town Council.

At its mots recent meeting, council members voted unanimously to give Reaction Theatre Makers a £2,000 grant to start up a new group for people with mental health problems.

The award means the company, based at Malvern Cube, will now be able to apply for match-funding from the Arts Council to get the new group off the ground.

And Reaction Theatre Makers' creative director, Tiffany Hosking, said that the council's decision was "absolutely lovely" and a major step forward for the company.

"I was overwhelmed by the support that the councillors showed for us, and I was almost in tears," she said.

"It was absolutely lovely and it really means a lot to us, because now we can get the Arts Council funding and get the group off the ground, starting in the new year."

Reaction Theatre Makers runs activities for local people with disabilities and puts on plays addressing mental health issues. The new group will be for people with mild to moderate mental health problems.

The notice of motion originally presented to the meeting by Cllr Alex McLellan called for the grant request to be referred to the council's policy and resources committee.

But at the meeting, members were so supportive of the group that they decided to make the grant there and then.

After the meeting Cllr McLelland said: "This was the first notice of motion I put forward to the council, so, I'm really pleased at how it went.

"It's very important for Reaction, because they have to have the support of a local authority before they can access the Arts Council money,

"The council has supported them earlier with a grant, and following that I volunteered to help them with a little technical support for their website, and I found out more about the good work they do."

Mayor Julian Roskams, one of the seconders of the motion, said: "I'm really glad that the group got such unanimous support from the council.

"I think it's because people realise what fantastic work Reaction Theatre Makers do working with disadvantaged members of the community. Their work just shows how theatre groups and cultural groups can have a real impact in the local community."

Anyone interested in the new group should contact tiffany@reactiontheatremakers.com.