We are sad to hear of the death of community activist Pansy Jeffrey, who was a founding member of Notting Hill Housing’s management committee.
Pansy, who was 91, was appointed by Kensington Citizen’s Advice Bureau to try and improve race relations in the area following the Notting Hill race riots of 1958, just a few years after moving to England from Guyana.
She was also governor for three schools in Kensington and Paddington while also being 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, including Rev David Mason. They worked together to set up the Notting Hill Social Council and also created Notting Hill Housing Trust, with whom she remained for the next six years.
During her 27 years with Kensington CAB, Pansy was also on the committee of the North Kensington Law Centre, was involved in the Bero Housing Project, a member of the Community Education Trust helping to improve the school performance of Caribbean pupils in Islington and Treasurer for the Notting Hill Carnival Committee.
By the end of the 1970s it became clear to Pansy that an increasing number of elderly people of Caribbean origin were suffering from isolation and loneliness. Pansy opened a drop-in centre for them in 1980 from her office, which evolved into the Pepper Pot Club in Ladbroke Grove. The Queen attended its opening and returned for its 25th anniversary.
Speaking to Notting Hill Housing in 2013, her son, Howard, said: “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, Margaret Hodge MP, Jeremy Corbyn, 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.”