Fonterra and local Men's Shed help spread Christmas joy


Christmas is about giving and that’s just what Fonterra’s Stanhope site has done, donating recycled materials leftover from the rebuild of its cheese plant to the Stanhope Men’s Shed to make presents for the local community this Christmas time. 

Materials which would normally be sent to landfill or mulched into woodchip have been collected by local community group, the Stanhope and District Men’s Shed, since the first cheese plant began construction back in 2015.

Over the course of the two builds, cheese making equipment has been delivered in large wooden crates. This packaging is important to keep the equipment stable and safe from damage, but it is not used again so there is potential for a lot of waste.

Fonterra Stanhope Site Manager Jason Wright says that we reached out to the Men’s Shed to see if they could find a way to use these materials for local community projects.

“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,” says Jason.

Member of the Men’s Shed Des Crichton says that over the past three years, we’ve crafted hundreds of different items using Fonterra’s materials, but as we near the festive season we thought we’d 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.  

“This has given our men meaningful work in the community and they’ve been able to craft items they’re really proud of,” says Des.

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