Entrepreneur grant helps Twigs renovate premises

By Maurice Garvey

WINNING an entrepreneurial grant helped two sisters from Tallaght, renovate a premises to care for young people with additional needs.

Jess and Lydia Conlon from Glenshane won a €7,000 investment grant at South Dublin’s Best Young Entrepreneurs 2019, which went towards setting up a fulltime service in Killinarden Enterprise Park.

Twigs 04 compressor

Katie, Grace, Sarah, Lydia, Katie, Tadgh, Jessica and Stephanie

The pair initially set up Twigs after-school care programme at Jobstown Community Centre, in October 2018.

Within a month, three classes a week in Jobstown were booked out, and remained booked out until September – a clear indication that the service was desperately needed in the area.

With the service growing fast, the sisters needed a more suitable location, and after renovating the Killinarden premises, they are happy to report Twigs is open for business as of last Monday (September 9).

“There was a lot of building work to be done, Tulsa registration, the investment went towards securing the building and into the school,” said Jess (27).

“We are a week behind, but opened on Monday. All our sensory classes are booked out, and our after-school is currently at half the capacity, so it’s just a question of getting the word out.”

As the business has grown, so has the staff, and there is now five members on the team – the sisters, Sarah Malone, Amy Lucy and Sarah Notaro.

However, Jess says they hope to expand in the coming years – with up to 10 staff in Tallaght by the end of the year, and 40/50 staff in the next three years.

“We also hope to expand services in South Dublin, North Dublin, Wicklow and Kildare,” she said.

The two sisters were motivated to establish the business due to personal experience.

 “I have two nephews and a little brother Andrew (20) with autism,” said Jess, who previously worked as a SNA in Saggart NS, while Lydia was a SNA in Cheeverstown.

“There was nothing there, no sense of community. Nothing daily available. We thought it would be great to set something up.”

Twigs offers an after-school service for kids aged 4-18 - all inclusive but tailored for kids on the spectrum. After school is from 1.30pm to 6.30pm.

They also provide social sensory classes, toddler classes, summer camps, mid-term breaks, and all sorts of holiday services.

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