A four-year-old girl who is receiving treatment for cancer joined the mayor of Carlisle to wave off the Beijing Biddies Tuk Tuk Challenge team.

Mia Presch and Councillor Colin Stothard were at the Old Town Hall in Green Market on Tuesday May 2 to wish the four women the best of luck as they set off to drive around Britain in two motorised rickshaws to raise money to fight children’s cancers.

Mia, from Great Corby, is currently undergoing weekly treatment at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Newcastle.

Her dad, Gareth Presch, said:“Mia has been really looking forward to meeting everyone and to playing her part in the team’s send-off. She’s been very brave and we’re proud of how she’s dealing with her treatment.

“What the Beijing Biddies are doing is raising awareness of a cruel disease that can hit any family at anytime. We need to come together and support cancer research and we wish the team every success. As a family we are happy to be joining Councillor Stothard to show our support for the amazing journey that the Beijing Biddies are about to undertake.”

Team leader Edwina Sorkin, 71, of Newbiggin-on-Lune said: “We are very touched that both Mia and the mayor were in Carlisle to wave us off. Mia is such a brave girl and is an inspiration to us.

“To see a child or a young person suffering from cancer is really hard. That’s why every penny that we raise on this challenge will go to help kids and teens, so the more people that we can reach on our journey, the more money we can raise to fight this terrible disease.”

The team started their 1100-mile journey from the Old Town Hall and will travel to Edinburgh, Newcastle, Harrogate, Cambridge, London, Merthyr Tydfil and Manchester, stopping off to visit cancer research centres and hospitals along the way.

Edwina Sorkin along with Kate Sleath (66), of Wetherby, Yorkshire, Helen Stobart (51) and Liz Tinkler (50), of Penrith, will take turns to drive the two Tuk Tuks.

They have already raised £80,000 for Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support and are aiming to reach £100,000 and more with this third and final challenge.