YellowBridge QLD Toowoomba store Collectables is celebrating its second birthday with a large garage sale, selling wares handmade my talented locals, like Geoffrey Whitbread. The sale is being held on Saturday 2 June from 8am to 1pm at 2 Station Street, Toowoomba, with all proceeds going to help people with a disability gain work experience and learn new skills.
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 bring his ideas to life 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 other designs that takes his fancy. “I have projects on the go all the time. I’m always thinking of new ideas and looking at shops and furniture designs for inspiration,” Geoffrey says. 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 parent’s 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 says. “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. There will be hundreds of items available for purchase at the garage sale, including Geoffrey’s timber coffee table that he hopes will find a new home.
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