Lifelong Palace fan Connie Mullins returns to Selhurst Park for Warm Hub
Local resident Connie Mullins who turned 101 years old in January 2023, has been a lifelong fan of Crystal Palace F.C. For nearly 70 years, she attended matches until the pandemic but afterwards her mobility put a halt to attendance. She returned to Selhurst Park in December and February as part of the Warm Hub Initiative.
The Warm Hub was launched in November 2022 by Crystal Palace F.C., its principal partner cinch, and Palace for Life Foundation and is running until the end of February. It was a response to the continuing challenges of the cost of living crisis, inviting local residents aged over-65 to Selhurst Park once a week to enjoy a free hot meal and drinks, as well as an opportunity to socialise with fellow residents and staff.
Connie moved to SE25 with her parents when she was 12 years old and has lived in the same house, overlooking Selhurst Park for nearly 90 years now, apart with her years of war service with the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF). Connie’s husband George, a former Arsenal supporter had started supporting the local club soon after they married in 1951 and became a die-hard fan. She decided to join him and soon enough, she was hooked. “Palace has always been a part of my life. My husband supported Palace and used to go a lot, so I thought I might as well go with him!” The away matches were her favourite, as she got to travel to different places and spend quality time with George and later her son David.
Despite not being able to attend a football match recently, Connie’s visit to the Warm Hub at Selhurst Park was enjoyable. She was one of a handful of local residents who participated in the first Warm Hub event on December 6th meeting representatives of cinch and Palace for Life. “I’m enjoying having someone to talk to. It makes me feel like my old self when I used to do different things and go places” she said. The Warm Hub offers a hot meal, games, refreshments, and a warm and welcoming space for members of the South London community to share memories and stories.
Connie strongly encourages others to visit the Warm Hub if it runs again in the future. She believes it’s a perfect opportunity for those who are feeling lonely and looking for a change of scenery. “I would recommend it to people who are on their own and want to have some time away from the house,” she said. Connie was only able to attend when her son David was visiting. She asked the organisers to think about this if the Warm Hub is to be repeated in the future.
To read more about Connie’s ‘first 100 years’ read her feature on the Crystal Palace F.C. website.
Crystal Palace FC, the Palace for Life Foundation, and cinch are committed to supporting their community throughout the winter, and the warm hub is just one of the many initiatives they’ve launched to do exactly that.
Palace for Life also run a free hub for over 65s programme called ‘Extra Time’. It combines social activities and the chance to catch up over a cup of tea. Activities include quizzes, film club, bowls, pool, table tennis, seated exercise, board games and informative workshops.
For more information on Extra Time, please head here