‘Without Roundabout, I wouldn’t be where I am today’

When Shauna was just 9 years old, her mum passed away. The grief put a huge strain on the family, and her relationships with her dad and brother began to suffer. A few years later, when Shauna was 12, her Nan passed away which meant the already strained relationships began to get worse. As Shauna grew further apart from her dad, she began to stay at her Aunt’s house to escape the tension in the household.

When Shauna was 16, she finished school and started studying hairdressing at college. Her relationship with her dad reached breaking point, so she moved out of the family home to live with her boyfriend. Unfortunately, the relationship didn’t last, so Shauna had no choice but to move back in with her father months later.

Over the following few months, Shauna’s relationship with her dad began to improve. Things got easier at home – she concentrated on her college work and successfully completed her hairdressing course.

Now she had finished, Shauna was keen to leave college rather than carry on studying. However, her dad wasn’t keen for her to leave, insisting that if she wanted to stay living in his home then she needed to be studying.

With this in mind, Shauna returned to college to study childcare. However, despite this, her relationship with her dad became frayed again. The situation worsened, leading to Shauna leaving the family home. With nowhere else to go, she was referred to Roundabout and moved into their hostel.

Due to her maturity, Shauna was quickly given the opportunity to move into Number 11 (No 11). No 11 is the property next door to the hostel which has eight self-contained flats, suitable for young people who have shown signs of progressing towards independence but still need support from a key worker.

From here, Shauna moved into one of the Resettlement properties, where she lived in a semi-supported housing setting. However, Shauna struggled with the lack of round the clock support, so moved back into the hostel.

Once she was back in the hostel, Shauna was able to get the support she needed to feel more independent and more ready to have a place of her own.

After a few months, Shauna gained more confidence and with support from her key worker, applied for her own flat.

Knowing that this was a big step, Roundabout continued to offer Shauna support once she’d left the hostel and moved into her own tenancy. She was assigned a support worker from Roundabout’s Supporting Tenants team, who help young people in their own properties to maintain the tenancy and cope with independent living.

Currently, Shauna and her dad are working hard to build their relationship and Shauna is attending mediation sessions with Roundabout’s Mediation Worker, Cheryl. These sessions allow one or both parties to talk through their differences, helping to sort through their issues and resolve problems.

“I have been accessing help from mediation in order to help my relationship with my dad. It’s only me who see’s Cheryl. She has helped me to understand my dad’s side of things. She’s also helped me to understand why I react to him the way I have been. Since all this, our relationship has massively improved and the majority of our arguments have stopped. We now can sit and talk without arguing. This is all thanks to mediation.”

Shauna has also been volunteering at Roundabout including helping Cheryl by attending events, aiming to promote the mediation work offered by Roundabout.

In addition, Shauna is part of the Peer Education Team at Roundabout. She has been trained to go into schools and deliver lessons, aiming to break down the stereotypes around homelessness and raise awareness amongst young people of what to do if they have to leave home, and how to access support.

Now living independently, Shauna is studying to be a youth worker.

“Without Roundabout, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” explains Shauna.

“Their help has meant that I’m now able to live independently and have the confidence to do other things.

“I’m really enjoying studying to be a youth worker so I can use my experiences to help other young people who need support.”

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