The Duchess helps prepare meals at the Pepper Pot Centre

Today The Duchess of Cornwall visited the Pepper Pot Centre and heard how this hub for older people has continued to support vulnerable members of the community throughout lockdown.

The Pepper Pot Centre in Ladbroke Grove, London, was founded in 1981 by Pansy Jeffrey, a Windrush generation activist. The aim was to provide a culturally sensitive drop-in centre for members of the elderly African Caribbean community.

It offers meals, care and advice and promotes healthy ageing and independent living. The Queen has visited the centre twice previously.

During the visit, The Duchess joined a video call to hear about how the centre’s members have been taking part in virtual group activities throughout the pandemic. 

The Duchess of Cornwall takes part in a video call at the Pepper Pot Centre
The Duchess of Cornwall takes part in a video call at the Pepper Pot Centre

Norma Seal McConnie, an 80-year-old great-grandmother who came to Britain from Barbados in 1958 and trained as a nurse, told Her Royal Highness: “It’s very sad because I (normally) come into the centre five days a week. I miss my friends.”

Staff are also supporting members who cannot visit the centre due to the pandemic through a meal delivery service and regular phone calls.

The Duchess joined volunteers sending hot meals of Caribbean oxtail and chicken with vegetables to about 30 pensioners.

Her Royal Highnesses also brought some sweet treats along with her during the visit. The brownies were added to the lunch packs being delivered to vulnerable members of the community.