We were saddened to learn that Pansy Jeffrey has passed away. Her son Howard Jeffrey shares his mother’s story.
“My mother came from Guyana to England in the early 1950s. She worked as a nurse for St Charles Hospital, midwife for Hammersmith Hospital and a health visitor for the London Borough of Camden.
After the Notting Hill race riots, she was appointed by Kensington Citizen Advise Bureau (CAB) to try and improve race relations in the area. The job required her to liaise with political parties and social workers, and she became the governor for three schools in the Kensington and Paddington areas. She was also seconded to the Race Relations Commission’s social services section.
At this time Lord Soper, a prominent Methodist minister, sent three ministers to work in North Kensington. My mother worked with this group including the Rev David Mason to set up the Notting Hill Social Council. They also created Notting Hill Housing Trust, and she remained with the Trust for six years.
My mother worked for the Kensington CAB for 27 years and during this period of time she was involved in several interesting projects. She was a committee member of the North Kensington Law Centre – the first in Britain which was started by Lord Tony Gifford. She was also involved in the Bero Housing Project chaired by Bishop Wood, was a committee member of the Community Education Trust that worked with Caribbean pupils in Islington to improve their performance at school, as well as Treasurer for the Notting Hill Carnival Committee for one year.
She also worked for 17 years as Justice of the Peace (JP), much of that time as a Senior JP at Horseferry, Marlborough, and Bow Street Courts.
By the end of the 1970s it became clear that there was an increasing number of senior citizens of Caribbean origin who were suffering from isolation and loneliness. In 1980 my mother opened a drop-in centre for them in her office. This evolved into the Pepperpot Club which later moved to purpose-built accommodation in Ladbroke Grove. When my mother retired, she became its President for Life. The Queen visited the Pepperpot Club twice – once when it opened and again on its 25th anniversary.
I have many fond memories of mother, including her always having an open house with lots of people from the world of politics and culture passing through. These people included George Lamming, Cy Grant, Cheddi Jagan, Maya Angelou, Ram John Holder, Norman Beaton, Lord Gifford, MP lady Margaret Hodge, Jeremy Coburn, Trevor and Mike Phillips to name but a few. There was a constant feeling of living in a happy loving family, a sense of security and having lots of positive role models around you.”