Geoffrey builds a home for books

Geoffrey Whitbread alongside the Street Library he made for Cambooya Landcare.
Geoffrey Whitbread alongside the Street Library he made for Cambooya Landcare.

They are popping up in all sorts of places with quirky designs and surprising shapes and filled with free entertainment that is replenished by charitable people.

Cambooya is the latest neighbourhood to welcome a Street Library thanks to the handiwork of building and restoration hobbyist Geoffrey Whitbread.

His own home is decorated with the furniture and curios he has built or restored himself but this is the first time he has made a home for books so neighbours can share the joys of reading.

Geoffrey credits his handiwork to his dad who helped him make all sorts of things when he was a boy growing up on their Millmerran farm, Woodlands.

His manual arts lessons at high school helped to refine his skills, which he now uses to build tables, chairs, birdhouses, picture frames and anything else that takes his fancy.

“I have projects on the go all the time,” Geoffrey said.

“I’m always thinking of new ideas and looking at shops and furniture designs for inspiration,” he said.

Geoffrey receives assistance with his building projects through YellowBridge QLD’s disability support program.

Each week, he sets up his workshop in the YellowBridge’s woodwork workshop where he can access power tools and help from his disability support worker.

His hobby has evolved into his own mini social enterprise, which he named Woodlands Creations after his parents’ farm.

YellowBridge supports Geoffrey’s enterprise by helping him sell his wares through their boutique op shop, Collectables, which provides work and training opportunities for people with a disability.

“Having a hobby keeps me busy and I find it rewarding to create something with my own hands,” he said.

Geoffrey’s Street Library can be found in front of the Cambooya Landcare Office at 64 Eaton Street.

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