TWO high profile figures in the Newcastle business community have been appointed to help shape the future of the city’s Marie Curie Hospice.

Adam Serfontein, managing director of The Hanro Group, and Alok Loomba, Partner at law firm Sintons, have become the latest members of the Marie Curie Newcastle Hospice development board.

Mr Serfontein – who heads one of the North East’s largest commercial property investment and development companies – and Mr Loomba, a leading real estate lawyer with specialism in fields including investment, development, leisure, care and pharmacies, will now work with the other members of the development board with their fundraising activities for the Hospice.

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The board has raised around £500,000 in the past four years to help maintain and develop the Newcastle Hospice, which offers specialist care for people with terminal illnesses as well as support for their families.

Mr Serfontein said: “The Marie Curie Hospice is a place which has brought such comfort and support to so many people at a time they need it most, and I am delighted to be able to work with Alok and the existing team to contribute to its ongoing success. The development board do an outstanding job and the cause is second to none.”

Mr Loomba said: “I am honoured to be invited to join the development board. The Newcastle Marie Curie Hospice is an incredible place offering a much needed care to patients and families and I will do all I can to help raise vital funds to help support its work.”

Lisa Corfield, Fundraising Manager North East for Marie Curie, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Adam and Alok to the Newcastle Hospice development board. Along with our existing board members Adam and Alok will play a key role play in engaging local support.

“It is our intention that the Marie Curie Hospice Newcastle should be fully funded by the community that it serves. The Marie Curie Hospice, Newcastle, costs £3.7m to run per year, which equals £9,964 per day.

"Approximately 43 per cent of this will come from the NHS, leaving £2.1m to be raised locally each year to ensure we continue to care for as many patients as possible in the North-East.”