A hospice chairman who helped save it from closure when it was in dire financial straits has announced he is stepping down this autumn.

Trefor Jones who has enjoyed "seven wonderful years" at the helm of St Kentigern Hospice in St Asaph will be succeeded by Jim O’Toole, Managing Director of the Port of Mostyn.

Mr Jones said: “I have decided to step down and let someone else lead the hospice into the new era.

“Jim joined our board of trustees a couple of months ago and I believe he is the perfect man to take St Kentigern forward over the exciting times ahead.”

St Kentigern is an eight-bed in-patient hospice which has an additional 15 day therapy places and provides end of life care and symptom control for those with life-threatening and terminal illness.

It relies on public donations for more than 80 per cent of its income.

The former Chairman and Chief Executive of Pilkington Optronics has witnessed the hospice move from a financial crunch point to a position where it can pay day to day running costs and unveil expansion plans.

St Kentigern Hospice chief executive, Iain Mitchell, said: “We will be sorry to see Trefor go, but his input will never be forgotten. The entire community will be unstintingly grateful to him for spearheading the turnaround of the hospice from the brink of closure several years ago to the outstanding facility it is today. We wish him well in the future.”

Mr Jones said: “I am extremely proud of the way people rallied to help this wonderful hospice when it was in need and they are continuing to do so.

“I’m also proud of the first rate staff and dedicated team of volunteers who are all determinedly helping St Kentigern Hospice move towards a bright future.”

The hospice, which marked its 22nd anniversary last month, has announced plans for a major extension, increasing beds from eight to 12.

Mr Jones added: “I will be leaving the hospice in a secure and happy place. I’ve overseen our progress to the point where we are now ready and have the resources to expand. But I believe it’s time for someone else to see that expansion through.“

The former Lord Lieutenant of Clwyd who lives in St Asaph with his wife, Shirley, and has three grown up children, Michael, Anna and Julie, and six grandchildren, was awarded a CBE in 1998 and in 2012 became a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, an honour conferred by the sovereign for services to the Queen or other members of the Royal family. He also attended the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee service at St Paul’s Cathedral, London.

He was a member of the Welsh Industrial Development Advisory Board, the Training and Enterprise Council for North Wales and vice-chairman of Conwy and Denbighshire NHS Trust.    

He hopes to spend more time with his family, and enjoy ‘a little bit of relaxation’. But it will not be all putting his feet up as he will still be taking an interest in local community affairs and continuing in his role as Chancellor of Glyndŵr University, Wrexham.