Geezers’ good idea puts Bow boys through the mill

A group of men put years of their lifetime experiences to good use to mentor secondary school boys and help create energy saving devices for an older people’s centre.

Members of the Geezers Club worked with Bow Boys School, artist Loraine Leeson, engineerToby Borland (SMARTlab, MAGICbox) and former rocket scientist Professor Steven Dodds to explore alternative means of energy production.

Together they created designs for wind turbines and developed small scale working prototypes under expert guidance. And the most successful design was selected to produce a wind turbine, which was launched at Appian Court, a centre for older people in Bow.

The Active Energy project takes an inter-generational approach to tackling some of the key issues facing communities in the borough. It addressed under-achievement amongst boys by giving them mentoring, master classes, providing inspiration and fostering their skills, creativity and innovation.

Ray Gipson, 70, a member of the Geezers Club and a former governor of Bow Boys School, said the project also energised club members who were able to reminiscence about the activities they used to do.

“We suggested the production and use of a windmill as we thought they hadn’t been used to their full potential,” Ray said.

“Now, we want organisations to adopt some of our methods to help people save on their energy bills.”

Also involved in the project was the arts charity SPACE which helped bring the different people together.

Spokeswoman Fiona Feber said: “Renewable energy is often seen as the remit of statutory institutions or those wealthy enough to afford the significant cost of the equipment involved. However, there is growing interest in the technologies involved amongst ordinary people living in east London.”

The Geezers meet on Tuesdays from 1.30-3.30pm at Appian Court, run by Age Concern Tower Hamlets, in Parnell Road, Bow. Call 8981 7124 for further information.

By Jessica Odubayo (29 March 2010)

(Original article from News at eastendlife at Tower Hamlets Website)

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