Brendan finds independence with Roundabout and Arches Housing

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A relationship between Sheffield housing association Arches Housing and South Yorkshire youth homelessness charity Roundabout is offering new levels of support and security to some of the city’s most vulnerable young people.

Arches Housing is the housing association that provides homes to a rich mix of residents in diverse communities across Sheffield, Rotherham and Derbyshire.

The teams from Arches Housing and Roundabout, the charity that supports more than 380 vulnerable young people every day, work closely together to provide speedy accommodation solutions for young people facing the risk of homelessness.

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A typical example is 19-year-old Brendan Mackay, who moved into an Arches Housing property following a swift referral process through Sheffield City Council’s Housing Pathway.

Brendan is creating a new life with the support of Roundabout and Arches HousingBrendan is creating a new life with the support of Roundabout and Arches Housing
Brendan is creating a new life with the support of Roundabout and Arches Housing

And supported by Roundabout, Brendan has embarked on a transformative journey towards independence.

“Brendan struggles with his mental health in the form of mild anxiety and depression but his proactive approach, seeking independent appointments and exploring treatment, reflects his determination to address challenges head-on,” said Roundabout Dispersed team leader, Jo Holt.

“Despite initial shyness and low confidence, Brendan has really turned a corner since coming to Roundabout, and his increased confidence shines through.”

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Brendan originally lived with his father but a relationship breakdown led him to move in with his sister, where overcrowding led him to seek alternative arrangements.

Running out of options, Brendan sofa surfed with various family members until he approached the Council and was put in touch with Roundabout.

Moving into his own property, with the joint support of the Roundabout team and Arches Housing, marked a significant milestone as it was the first time he had lived alone or in his own tenancy.

Since moving in, Brendan has successfully passed a Level 2 Music course at Hillsborough College, encouraged by his Roundabout Support Worker.

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His involvement in a faith group and regular performances at his church, along with performing in local gigs in Sheffield, show not only his artistic expertise but also his growing self-confidence.

He has made the Arches Housing one-bedroom flat with open-plan kitchen and living room feel like home and loves that he has space for all his musical instruments, which has been key to his personal development.

He has also discovered a love for cooking, so having a well-equipped kitchen has helped him develop this skill and also shows his commitment to self-sufficiency.

The property has convenient transport links, which helps Brendan to leave his property and explore his community, along with easy and affordable access to the Job Centre and his college.

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He is now keen to get involved with the new opportunities that are presented to him that take him out of his comfort zone, travelling to London with his Roundabout support worker and another young person to take part in a modelling shoot with Urban Outfitters for their Christmas Campaign.

“The out-of-hours phone line offered by Arches Housing serves as a crucial lifeline for young residents like Brendan,” said Jo.

“Knowing that this dedicated line is available around the clock provides a sense of security, especially during evenings or weekends.

“This accessibility not only fosters a safe living environment but also reinforces the commitment of Arches Housing to the well-being of the individuals they support.

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“Even seemingly small details, like the installation of a sturdy metal security door at the communal entrance, played a vital role in communicating to Brendan that his safety is a top priority and these thoughtful measures ensure that Brendan feels truly at ease in his own home.”

With the support of Roundabout and the security of a safe home with Arches Housing, Brendan is now in the process of rebuilding and strengthening relationships with his relatives.

He’s updated his CV and is actively pursuing employment opportunities through the Job Centre, a forward-thinking approach that reflects Brendan's commitment to securing a stable and independent future for himself.

Guided by Roundabout support, Brendan has not only overcome challenges but has also thrived.

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“The combination of Roundabout’s hugely experienced levels of support at every stage of Brendan’s story and the provision of a secure and supportive living environment provided by Arches Housing have been instrumental in shaping his success story, highlighting the transformative impact that a safe, secure and high standard of accommodation can have on the journey to independence,” Jo said.

To find out more about Roundabout visit For more on Arches Housing visit