Aston Villa’s Andre Green grabbed a paint brush and lent a hand at Saathi House this week when he visited one of the Aston Villa Foundation’s community projects.

A group of students on the Foundation’s Pre-Apprenticeship Programme volunteered their time to redecorate the building, that helps underprivileged women and children from ethnic minorities.

Saathi House, located less than half a mile away from Villa Park, hosts a range of educational and leisure activities, and Villa star Green was only too happy to provide a helping hand.

He said: “It’s great for the community to know that the club is helping them achieve good things. I think it’s good that Aston Villa are using the power they have to be able to do this kind of thing.

“It’s giving young people opportunities and helping them to go in the right direction.”

The 19-year-old picked up a brush and helped paint the walls in one of the building’s downstairs rooms, where the club’s famous claret and blue colours now adorn the walls.

Andre Green paints community centre Saathi House in Aston, Birmingham Staff Reporter
Andre Green paints community centre Saathi House in Aston, Birmingham

And Green feels Aston Villa’s influence runs deeper than giving the building a fresh lick of paint.

He said: “This is about more than football. The project here is about getting everybody involved – not only the players and everyone around the club but people outside of the club as well. It’s about helping others and getting everyone involved as a team.

“Helping people out who live so close to the stadium and getting them involved is great. Saathi House is just a stone’s throw away but still very much a part of the club.”

As well as the Foundation’s Pre-Apprenticeship students, who are working towards a Level Two Sports Leadership qualification, the work at Saathi House was carried out in partnership with Volunteer It Yourself, home improvement retailer Wickes and some of the people who directly benefit from the organisation’s work.

One of the club’s Community MVPs, Imran Younas, was also working on the project, and Green paid tribute to those who have been helping to transform the building.

He said: “Aston Villa have got a lot of willing people that want to help in every way, shape and form.

“You can see the hard work that goes into our projects and it’s a massive help to have people that have given up their time.”

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