“TO make a child and their family happy makes it all worthwhile.”

Those are the words of Professor Khalid Aziz, who is stepping down as chairman of Naomi House hospice in September.

Prof Aziz has been leading the charity since 1992, five years before the hospice was built.

He began his career as a journalist, working for the BBC, then ITV and Channel 4.

He said: “It’s going to be quite a wrench to leave this behind but it was my decision to stand down.

“It’s time for new blood at the charity and I leave it in very good heart and a sound financial position.

“It’s a wonderful charity and it will go from strength to strength.”

The hospice, along with jacksplace, cares for children and young adults with life-limiting conditions, which means that Prof Aziz has experienced many highs and lows over his two decades as chairman.

He said: “We have to say goodbye to most of the children who come here, which is a great sadness, but there is a great amount of joy too.

“One of the things I asked trustees to do was one shift helping to look after children.

“I’ll always remember a girl called Amanda from my turn. She could not take food through her mouth and had difficulty breathing, relying on a ventilator.

“But she wanted a picture of herself in a Jacuzzi holding a glass of Champagne. She thought it was really cool.

“My job was to look after her ventilator as she was getting into the Jacuzzi, and it was nerve-racking as I worried what might happen to it. But it was fine and she got the picture and we used it in our newsletters.”

He added: “There are many, many examples where we have been able to do something to make a child and their family happy, and that makes it all worthwhile.

“I cannot forget the fantastic support from people either.”

As chairman, he has also welcomed his fair share of important guests, including the Prince of Wales, who opened the hospice, and, most recently, the expectant Duchess of Cambridge.

After stepping down, Prof Aziz will take over as chairman at disability charity Enham, based near Andover, and he is looking forward to the new challenge.

Jonny Grew, deputy chairman of Naomi House, said: “As a trustee and currently deputy chairman, I have seen Khalid Aziz chair the Naomi House board with outstanding leadership for over 20 years.

“He has overseen two very successful appeals and the building of both Naomi House and jacksplace.

“He has never shirked from grasping some of the challenging nettles that have appeared during this extensive period of public service to all the children, young adults and families that have benefited from his diligence.”

The hospice is now on the lookout for an “inspirational” new chairman to work alongside the board and chief executive Chris Robinson.