Geoffrey finds outlet for woodwork talent

Geoffrey finds outlet for woodwork talent

It is a rare day when Geoffrey Whitbread downs tools and takes a break from his favourite hobby.

His Toowoomba home is decorated with the furniture and curios he has built or restored himself including his latest project, a timber replica of a Ford Model T.

He 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.

Twice a week, Geoffrey sets up his workshop in the YellowBridge QLD’s men’s shed where he can access power tools and assistance 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.

“I restored a timber dresser and a lady travelled from Brisbane to buy it last weekend. That felt pretty good,” he said.

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

Collectables was established in 2016 by YellowBridge to provide work and training opportunities for people with a disability.

They are celebrating their second birthday with a large garage sale on Saturday 2 June from 8am – 1pm at 2 Station Street. All proceeds are used to help people with a disability gain work experience and learn new skills.

There will be hundreds of items for sale, including Geoffrey’s timber coffee table that he hopes will find a new home.