AGE has proved no barrier for an inspirational pensioner from Alvechurch, whose charitable fundraising has seen him reach the finals of an award.

When John Davies retired, the 70-year-old decided to learn the ukulele and formed ‘The 6-5 Specials’ skiffle band with four other retirees.

His group has raised more than £5,000 for charities over the years, including the British Lung Foundation, Alzheimer’s Research, and he has even played live on BBC’s Children in Need.

His charitable efforts have now seen him named in the regional final of ‘Inspirational Generation’ – a competition to find those over 60 with an inspiring story to tell.

He said: “I decided to enter the search for the Inspirational Generation because the group I started a few years ago has raised thousands of pounds for various charities.

“I think it’s important we recognise the achievements of older people because even when you’re at my age you can still make an impact and help make a difference to other lives.”

The competition was launched by retirement housebuilder McCarthy and Stone to put the spotlight on the nation’s baby boomers, and to celebrate the many ways older people inspire the younger generation.

A panel of judges will select nine overall regional winners during early June, then in mid-June TV personality Gloria Hunniford will pick one national winner.

Martin Edwards, regional managing director for McCarthy and Stone West Midlands, said: “Our search for the Inspirational Generation not only resulted in a high level of entries, but the standard was truly remarkable.

“Shortlisting was an incredibly difficult task and we are thrilled that John is one of the finalists in McCarthy and Stone’s West Midlands region.”