"I just love life, Matt" he said, as our hour-long interview drew to a close.

Chris Sage didn't need to spell it out though, his infectious enthusiasm had already bowled me over.

At 73, the Falmouth man is determined not to let age be a barrier and his positivity was rewarded when he received a "60 at 60" award from Cornwall Council recently.

After retiring from his job as a recycling coordinator at Tremough, Chris wanted to "put something back" and began researching voluntary work.

He found an advert for the Eden Project and began working as part of their access team.

The former RAF flight sergeant, who has lived in Oakfield Road since 2006, has not looked back.

"I have been working there for three years now. I don't drive, so I have to catch three buses every Wednesday - from Falmouth to Truro, Truro to St Austell and on to Eden.

I leave the house at 7.30am and walk into the office at around 10am. I believe I'm the only one of all their staff and volunteers who takes three buses to get there!"

Chris initially worked on the car park and with walking groups for people suffering health issues.

As the popularity in the walks increased, however, he moved to that role full time.

"I get a real buzz from helping people. The walkers in the group have COPD, asthma, diabetes, dementia - a whole range of conditions. One lady came to Eden on her own from a cruise ship that was visiting Falmouth. I took her round in a wheelchair and when we got back, she shook my hand and gave me £10. I don't do it for the money, but I was so pleased that I'd helped her to enjoy the experience."

"Working there has really opened my eyes. I'm fit and healthy and if I can help people who need it, that makes me happy."

Besides his day at Eden each week, he now has a chance to help the walkers in Falmouth, as it takes the weekly groups out in the districts.

He has been asked to lead a group for a walk starting at Gylly Beach Cafe every Tuesday. The group meets at 1.30pm and walks for between 20 minutes and an hour at 2pm.

He has been busy advertising the Falmouth walk by leaflet-dropping in a number of places in town, including the library, post office and doctor's surgeries.

The first one is due to take place today and there will also be weekly groups in Truro and Perranporth.

Anyone interested in joining the group can call Lily on 07830 517353 or email ldaveyatlee@edenproject.com

Chris previously lived in a bedsit in Truro prior to 2006, but requested a move from the council after becoming fed up with drugs-related activity and late night noise from his neighbours.

Since retiring from Tremough he also cleans elderly neighbours' windows and give them vegetables grown in his garden, which looks out across Penryn River.

For two hours a week he also volunteers for Falmouth Town Council, helping with maintenance in Kimberley Park.

It is not difficult to see why he has received recognition from Cornwall Council.

Its campaign launched in April to find 60 people over the age of 60 in the county who inspire others.

The awards ceremony held on Monday, October 28 was an opportunity for all of those successful nominees to come together to acknowledge their contributions - of which Chris was one.

The winners were presented with their certificate by the three judges, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for adults, Cllr Rob Rotchell, Helen Tite from iCareiMove and Nigel Clark from Age UK.

Once all nominees had received their certificates they all enjoyed a cream tea with an opportunity to meet each other and hear each other’s stories.