He also talked about his family foundation, which offers practical support and financial assistance to many local projects and communities in Colombia, and how he hopes that he will be able to use his experience of working closely with The Passage and Centrepoint to shape the future work of the foundation.
Luis said: “Hope and opportunity are so important in life. I grew up in a humble community in Colombia, but I come from a close and supportive family who encouraged me to realise my dream of playing professional football. From the moment I joined Liverpool I have felt the same close connection to the community here, who have welcomed me as one of their own. Having seen the levels of homelessness across the UK and in Liverpool, I knew I had to do something to help.
I feel very lucky to have been introduced to The Passage and Centrepoint and to have spent time learning about their plans to tackle homelessness. This is something I care deeply about. I hope my role as Ambassador will help raise awareness for both charities and give people in the UK the same hope and opportunity, I was so lucky to receive as a young boy growing up. I am also excited to learn from these great charities and use the experience to help set up similar work in Colombia and beyond.”
Mick Clarke, Chief Executive of The Passage said: “We are delighted to welcome Luis Diaz as an Ambassador for The Passage and Centrepoint. Our ethos is to ensure that those who use our services are given the opportunities that many people may take for granted, such as access to employment and training or having a place that you can truly call home.
Through his incredible talent, football has given Luis many opportunities in life and it’s inspiring to see how passionately he wants to give back to others. Homelessness is a societal issue and so it has to be a societal solution and I am very grateful to Luis for his commitment. I would also like to thank NVA Sports and Entertainment Group for their help in facilitating Luis’s new ambassadorial role for both charities.”
Seyi Obakin, Chief Executive of Centrepoint said: “Luis could not have picked a more important time to become an Ambassador and we are delighted to have him on board.
Youth homelessness in England is now at crisis point and thousands of young people are facing homelessness every week. Sadly, many of those living through this experience are hidden from view, and struggle to access the support they need to find a home and a job. Through his talent and by using his huge profile Luis can help us change that – we cannot wait to join up with him and The Passage as we work to end homelessness for good.”