Ever since she can remember, Alison Bezzina spent every Saturday morning doing crafts and playing games with her younger brother David, who has an intellectual disability.

But, after taking the “very difficult decision” to stop visiting her 38-year-old brother and their elderly parents, whom he lives with – to ensure they are safe from the coronavirus – Alison is determined that nothing will stop her from keeping up this tradition.

So, she put together a “care box” filled with games and crafts tailored for her brother, whom she will keep in touch with over phone and video.

The care box, which she delivered to his doorstep last Saturday, was the first of a series she plans to make for him until the coronavirus is beaten.

She said her parents understand why she doesn’t visit but it’s difficult for her brother.

“It’s still a disappointment for him. We have a synchronised understanding of how we work together… it was tough deciding not to see them but I don’t want to live with the dread that, if something had to happen to him or my elderly parents, I’d be wondering if it was my fault.”

Alison, a known animal rights activist, says her brother, who is six years her junior, was born with a thyroxine deficiency.

Nowadays this is something that is immediately addressed in babies. But 38 years ago things were different and the deficiency was only diagnosed six weeks after David was born, resulting in brain damage.

Today, he has the mental age of a seven-year-old. His interests include making things and playing with Playmobil figurines – and he loves routine.

The care box Alison put together, which includes Playmobil toys, crafts, colouring and tailor-made worksheets, will ensure some of his normal routine is retained.

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