England

Social bubble: 'Pure joy' for families reuniting after lockdown

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Media captionDavid Sheriff found lockdown and being separated from his sister "very difficult"

This is the moment a brother is reunited with his sister after living apart for weeks.

The Ashby family, like thousands across the country, have been separated during lockdown but reunited over the weekend.

David Sheriff, who has Down's Syndrome and autism, and sister Elizabeth Ashby were reunited over a Sunday lunch in Stourbridge, West Midlands.

Mum Helen Ashby said the day had brought "pure joy" for the whole family.

Ms Ashby said David, 31, had found lockdown and being separated from his sister "very difficult".

Image copyright Helen Ashby
Image caption It has been hard for David to be separated from sister Elizabeth

Mr Sherriff, who receives 24-hour care from a staff team, found it "very difficult" to understand why he wasn't able to visit, she said.

The family did arrange a socially distanced picnic but it was hard for him as he was not allowed to touch his family.

"They did webcams but it is not the same, it is not the same as physical touch and the sensory issues that go with his autism, that is what he needs," she said.

"David is very food-orientated so it is around our roast Sunday dinner and we have a chocolate fountain for dessert," Ms Ashby said.

Also reunited were Dee Jones, from Malvern, Worcestershire, and daughter Sian, who lives in London.

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Media captionDee Jones reunites with daughter Sian

Ms Jones is registered blind and, although she has guide dog Jax, said she had been surprised by how hard she had found lockdown.

"It's like a layer of support was taken away," she said adding she cried when she heard restrictions were being lifted for some.

Sian said she had tried to help her mum by doing things like sorting her online food deliveries but it had been hard.

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