Down on the farm with DSN Director Laura Collins

DSN clients enjoy lunch with Laura and a day at the farm. | Photos: Angel Cheatwood

WINNSBORO – The Fairfield County Disabilities and Special Needs Board kicked off the first Lunch with Laura event last week, the first of a series of special lunches the Board’s Director Laura Collins has planned for her DSN clients.

“DSN is committed to supporting adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to engage in new activities and to introducing opportunities so that they can achieve the life they desire,” Collins said. “Spending some time on a farm with horses seemed like one way to achieve that.

“As the weather cools down and the leaves change color, we know this is the season of gratitude and giving,” Collins told her staff when she started planning the Lunch with Laura event series.

The first lunch event was held at Collin’s Windy Hill Farm in Fairfield County where the DSN clients had the opportunity to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of Collins’ 19 horses and be immersed in real farm life.

It was in this setting that the group, some of whom have faced difficult life challenges in recent weeks, came together to enjoy lunch at decorated tables outside the barn and have one-on-one contact with the horses.

Donning cowboy hats and neck scarves, the clients got into the yippee-yi-yay spirit, learning how to properly sit astride saddles as well as having hands-on experiences with the horses, including petting, feeding, grooming and learning about their general care.

“Everyone had a blast,” Collins said. “I could see in their faces how much they enjoyed touching, brushing and interacting with the horses. I think they’ll be talking about this experience for days to come.”

There are 54 consumers in the Board’s day and residential program.

“So that each of our clients can enjoy special, unhurried attention as they maneuver the farm and get to know the horses, we will be taking them to the farm in small groups over the next several weeks as part of our Lunch with Laura series,” Collins said.

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