Joe used to be a construction foreman in charge of large-scale government building projects like water treatment plants and dams. In his spare time, he was a keen woodworker and could often be found happily tinkering away in his home shed. Unfortunately, due to poor health, Joe had to give up his hobby a few years ago, and this left a big hole in his daily life.
After he’d been living at Groundwater Lodge for a little while, one of our team members discovered his former love of woodworking and asked to commission him to make a simple outdoor table for his wife from recycled wood. The next week, some wooden pallets tools arrived and Joe set to work, using the outdoor Gazebo as a makeshift workshop.
This first piece was so admired by everyone at the community that Joe started taking more orders. The women’s sewing group asked him to make a cupboard, a neighbour asked for a bookshelf, a Carer ordered a dog bed, and a visiting doctor commissioned him to make a letterbox! All the pieces were made out of discarded wooden pallets that team members would find around the local area and bring in.
Soon, Joe found he was spending most of each day immersed in his passion, and he couldn’t have felt happier or more energised.
He used the money he made from selling his pieces to purchase more tools and equipment and saved the rest. When his family invited him to join them on a trip to Fraser Island in January, Joe was able to use the money he’d saved to pay his own way.
As well as the pieces he’s sold, Joe has also built and donated many items to the community, including colourful planter boxes for every resident’s private verandah, Jack and Jill chairs, and garden benches for the outdoor areas.
Joe credits the encouragement he received from everyone at Groundwater for helping him reconnect with his hobby and regain his sense of purpose and energy.
“This is how I enjoy spending my time. I’ve got a real workshop here and I’m very happy. All the staff have been so enthusiastic about my work and that makes me feel proud and useful. I like living here – it really feels like home.”
At PresCare, we love supporting residents like Joe to remain engaged in the activities that bring them joy and purpose.