Afro-Caribbean elder gets royal greeting

Pansy Jeffrey, who set up the Pepper Pot Centre in 1981, wished a happy 90th birthday by The Queen

Pansy Jeffrey  founder of a day centre in Ladbroke Grove, West London which helps elderly people who moved to the UK from the Caribbean has received a royal birthday greeting.

Pansy Jeffrey, who set up the Pepper Pot Centre  34 years ago to help combat discrimination, isolation, depression and loneliness amongst the growing generation of Caribbean older people, received the message from the Queen for her 90th birthday.

Her Majesty opened the centre in 1981 and visited again 25 years later in 2006. Jeffrey’s son, Howard Jeffrey MBE, who is also the PPC chairman, invited the Queen to attend the 90-year-old’s birthday celebrations last month at the centre, based in Ladbroke Grove, Get West London reported.

The son received a response from the Queen’s Lady-in-Waiting which 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.”


Pansy  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. She wed Lionel Jeffrey in 1951 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 over 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 then established the PPC, which has continued helping older members of the African and Caribbean community for more than 30 years.

Speaking at the birthday party her son, told Get West London: “The centre is well respected nationally as a model of excellence in the relation to the delivery of culturally specific services.

“It empowers African and Caribbean older people to take charge of their own lives after sacrificing so many of their youthful years for the United Kingdom.”