Carlisle United have praised the generosity of fans and businesses for helping them send a sick teenager and their family on the trip of a lifetime.

The Blues have teamed up with Jigsaw Children’s Hospice to send a Cumbrian family to the Winter Wonderland in London’s Hyde Park.

Alesha Bancroft, who attends Jigsaw, will be going on the all-expenses-paid two-day trip with her dad, siblings and carer.

United had originally planned to send a family to Lapland but said this changed to London after taking advice from Jigsaw and medical staff.

Alesha and her family will also be guests at Brunton Park for tomorrow’s game against Forest Green.

United’s director of football David Holdsworth, who led the "Make A Dream Come True" campaign, said: “I’d like to thank everybody who has contributed towards making this such a wonderful and memorable experience for this very deserving young lady.

“This is something we wanted to make happen and we’re all very proud that it has now come together.

"We took advice from Jigsaw on the content of the trip and we’re delighted that we’ll be sending Alesha and her family to London on a VIP trip.

“We’re making sure they get first class treatment from the moment they get picked up, with some executive travel lined up to get them to the station, and they’ll enjoy a quality train journey and stay in a lovely hotel.

“They’ll be going to the London Zoo, Sea Life Centre and the London Eye, as well as seeing the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park.

“It’s nice for us to have Alesha and her family as guests for the game [tomorrow], and we’re looking forward to showing them around the stadium and welcoming them into our hospitality areas.”

“It’s a great way to start things off as the club commits to working with a number of charities and good causes going forward.”

Chris Bray, head of marketing and fundraising at Jigsaw, said: “It has been fantastic working with David Holdsworth and the club on this project to create special memories for one of our families.

“We would like to thank everyone who generously donated towards the campaign and a special thank you to [United vice-president] Donald Marks for his fantastic support and fundraising exploits on his rickshaw that raised almost £2,000.

“We know Alesha and her family will have a magical time in London and cannot wait to hear about the trip when they return.”