Ma­te­ri­als trans­form into gifts

Shepparton News - Country News - - DAIRY -

Con­struc­tion ma­te­ri­als left over from the re­build of Fon­terra’s cheese plant at Stan­hope have been used to make gifts for chil­dren in the town.

The ma­te­ri­als would nor­mally have been sent to land­fill or mulched into wood­chips — but in­stead, they have been col­lected by the lo­cal Men’s Shed since 2015 and given a new lease on life.

Men’s Shed mem­ber Des Crich­ton said in the past three years the team had crafted hun­dreds of dif­fer­ent items us­ing Fon­terra’s ma­te­ri­als, but as they neared the fes­tive sea­son they de­cided to fo­cus on craft­ing gifts and dec­o­ra­tions for peo­ple in the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

‘‘We’ve been able to make won­der­ful wooden cubby houses as well as dec­o­ra­tions such as wooden Christ­mas trees. Th­ese were do­nated to the lo­cal kinder and pri­mary school as well as nearby aged care homes,’’ Mr Crich­ton said.

Fon­terra Stan­hope site man­ager Ja­son Wright said dur­ing the course of the two builds, cheese­mak­ing equip­ment had been de­liv­ered in large wooden crates that were never used again — so there was po­ten­tial for a lot of waste.

‘‘We’re al­ways look­ing for ways to give back to our lo­cal com­mu­nity and we thought there must be some­thing we can do with all the left­over pal­lets, tim­ber and crates.

‘‘The Men’s Shed was all too happy to pitch in — and Des has been a reg­u­lar face around the site ever since, load­ing up his trailer at least three times a week,’’ Mr Wright said.

Items in­clud­ing butch­ers’ blocks, ta­bles and chairs, and gar­den or­na­ments have also been crafted us­ing the ma­te­ri­als.

‘‘This has given our men mean­ing­ful work in the com­mu­nity and they’ve been able to craft items they’re re­ally proud of,’’ Mr Crich­ton said. ■ The pub­lic is in­vited to show sup­port for the work that the Men’s Shed is do­ing in the com­mu­nity, and can pur­chase th­ese items from the Men’s Shed at 3 Tivey Grove, Stan­hope.

En­joy­ing the gift of giv­ing . . . Des Crich­ton with a Christ­mas tree he made at the Men’s Shed.

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