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Credit crunch hits trip from Jamaica

By This is Somerset  |  Posted: May 26, 2009

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A planned visit by Jamaican children to Cheddar has been postponed until next year.

The Cheddar and Ocho Rios (Jamaica) Friendship Society hoped that 12 school children from Ocho Rios, plus parents and teachers, would come over in July to meet pupils at Cheddar and Axbridge first schools.

However, group organiser Frank Villiers, of Cheddar, recommended postponing the visit because the current economic climate is making it difficult to find sponsors to help fund the trip.

Mr Villiers said: "The children were looking forward to getting away but I had to take the decision to postpone until next year.

"They were thinking of getting sponsorship but I didn't think they would have been able to because of the recession. With the adults, there would have been between 20 to 30 in the party."

But the group's recent Blue Mountain Coffee Morning – arguably the most expensive coffee in the world – was a success, raising £200 despite a shaky start at the Church House in Cheddar.

"It went very well," said the organiser. "We had nobody at the start but by the end we had a lot of people, probably about 40 in total.

"Because we had a table-top sale as well a lot of people were coming in and looking at it but didn't have any coffee in the beginning, but afterwards it proved popular."

The group is now planning its next Jamaican evening of traditional cooking, and singing from a Jamaican choir, on August 15.

The last fundraising function, a dinner, netted more than £1,000 for Ocho Rios primary schools.

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