Tributes have been paid to “a visionary” whose work helping elderly people from the Caribbean and Africa was repeatedly endorsed and praised by the Queen.
Pansy Jeffrey, who set up the Pepper Pot Centre more than 35 years ago, died at the age of 91 on March 30.
Her funeral took place on Thursday April 20.
Speaking to getwestlondon , her son, Howard Jeffrey, who is now the Pepper Pot Centre chairman, said his mother’s ideas were ahead of her time and saluted the work she did in the Kensington and Chelsea area.
The Pepper Pot Centre was opened by the Queen in 1981.
Based beneath the Westway Flyover in Thorpe Close, Notting Hill , it offers food and company to the growing generation of Caribbean and African older people and was aimed at combating discrimination, isolation, depression and loneliness.
Her Majesty took the unusual step of returning to the centre in June 2006 to help mark its 25th anniversary, and last year, wished Mrs Jeffrey a happy 90th birthday .
Mrs Jeffrey was born in 1926 in New Amsterdam Berbice in what was then the Colony of British Guyana.
She came to England in the 1940s and trained as a nurse, ward sister and health visitor.
In 1951, she married Lionel Jeffrey and they enjoyed 42 years of marriage until his death in 1993.
The great grandmother’s long association with Kensington and Chelsea began in 1959 when she was appointed as a West Indian Social Worker at the local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) after the Notting Hill riots, before helping set up the Notting Hill Social Council & Notting Hill Housing Trust.
She was involved in numerous other local projects including the original Carnival Committee, and for more than 20 years she was a Justice of the Peace at Horseferry, Marlborough and Bow Street Magistrates’ Court .
In 1980 she opened a drop-in centre at the CAB office after noticing an increasing number of senior citizens of Caribbean origin suffering from isolation and loneliness
She established the Pepper Pot Centre, which has continued helping older members of the African and Caribbean community for more than 30 years.
Mr Howard said: “She was a very forward-thinking person.
"She was a socialist and was very keen on helping a multi-cultural society develop.
“She spent a lot of her time working in Kensington and Chelsea and even people who disagreed with her politically were always full of praise for her.
“I haven’t found anybody that has a bad word to say about her which is very nice and comforting.
“She was a visionary. The Pepper Pot is still running after 35 years because she had her ideas before her time.”
A letter from the Queen’s Lady-in-Waiting for Mrs Jeffrey's 90th birthday read: “Her Majesty was pleased to be reminded of the Pepper Pot Centre Services which are greatly valued among all communities in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and, although unable to join you in celebrating the founder’s special birthday, The Queen hopes that Mrs Jeffrey has a memorable time at the Day Centre.”
Her funeral took place at St Marylebone Crematorium in East Finchley.
She is survived by two children, six grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
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