Networking in Leeds

In June 2017 Loraine Leeson and The Geezers were invited to join Canal Connections in Leeds to discuss activities that will help spread the word about what has been discovered on the project to other communities and agencies.
They mingled with locals including the Lord Mayor of Leeds and other interested parties on a boat trip along the city's canals, then presented the work of the Active Energy project. The next day a meeting of creative partners involved in the Hydrocitizenship project discussed a bid for follow-on funding to include the next phase of Active Energy activities.

Water wheel supports wildlife in the Lower Lea

The wheel was meant to support fish and wildlife in the Lower Lea by pumping oxygen into the water to counteract pollution. 

However some moorhens have taken the support literally, and seem to have grown accustomed to the wheel’s slow rotations. Permission to install the wheel was only temporary, but now will need to be extended until fledglings have left the nest. A more permanent home for the wheel following the moorhens’ departure is currently being sought.

The Geezers present Active Energy in virtual symposium

On 31st May 2017 artist Loraine Leeson and the Geezers took part in a virtual symposium organised by the University of the Highlands and Islands. 

They presented the Active Energy project as a case study to demonstrate the value of social practice in art, research and education. Artists, cultural professionals, academics and students connected online from more than a dozen different locations including Shetland, Orkney, Ireland, as well as some of Scotland’s most remote islands, to discover and debate how socially engaged arts practice can help to build a better society.

New water wheel launched at Three Mills

On 13th May 2017 the new Active Energy water wheel was launched at Three Mills heritage site with an opening address by Jane Caldwell, Chief Executive at Age UK East London. 

She took the opportunity to emphasise the value of older people’s experience to the wider society, together with the benefits of creative and purposeful activities to those involved. Artist Loraine Leeson outlined the trajectory of this decade-long project, and engineer Toby Borland indicated the importance of community input to design and the value of an open source approach whereby each new development can be taken up by others. Professor Graeme Evans of Middlesex University described the involvement of the project in Hydrocitizenship, a research initiative led by academics from nine universities to investigate how citizens can better live with each other and their environment in relation to water.

 The day was stolen however by The Geezers, with Ray Gipson describing their longstanding struggle to bring renewable energy in to their community, in particular to help older people who can often not afford to heat their homes.