Statement on Joan Payne MBE’s passing

Today, we were saddened to learn of the death of Joan Payne MBE, who passed away at her home in Kent surrounded by loved ones on the 1st January 2023.

Alongside her love of music, walking and animals, Joan was passionate about social justice, and will be a familiar name to many Gypsies and Traveller people in the Cray Valley.

Beginning in the 1960s, Joan spent the majority of her professional life working alongside Gypsies and Travellers. Initially teaching children to read, Joan eventually went on to advocate against discriminatory planning processes alongside a local solicitor. For her community work, including inspirational work with U3A and the Girl Guides, Joan was awarded the honour of an MBE.

Upon her retirement, Joan remained a close friend of many Gypsies and Travellers. She will be sorely missed by many.

Our thoughts extend to Joan’s family, friends and those who loved her.


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