Despite rising insurance costs Nina Sharif is looking forward to 2020 with renewed enthusiasm.
After a challenging 2019, where insurance costs threatened to force its closure, The Treehouse Indoor Play and Café in Skibbereen is looking forward to a more positive 2020 and is welcoming birthday parties, school tours and family days out.
Located on the Marsh Road, The Treehouse was opened six years ago by Nina Sharif.
Having moved back from London, Nina was looking for a new venture. She wanted a job which would be flexible enough to have more time with her child.
She had an idea for an indoor play area and after realising there was nothing like it in the area, she decided this was the route she wanted to go down.
‘It took a while to get there, a lot of hard work went into it but thanks to support from the LEADER Programme, I opened the doors in February 2014,’ says owner Nina.
After several successful years, an increase of five hundred per cent in insurance costs began to threaten the business.
‘2019 was a tough year, I didn’t know if I could stay open due to increasing costs. With only a few days to go before the insurance was up, I got a more suitable, but still unsustainable quote. More help needs to be given to premises such as mine so that we can remain open.
‘Rising insurance costs along with an overhaul of ‘claims culture’ in Ireland needs to be a bigger election issue,’ she adds.
The Treehouse has a soft play area where free play is encouraged. It is a safe and warm place so there is no need to worry about the weather.
There’s also no need to worry about kids making noise, the more fun the better!
They also run activity classes which are both educational and fun, including Gymboree, where children learn movement through music, as well as arts and crafts activities.
To keep the parents and adults as entertained as the kids, there is a café on-site serving a fresh and seasonal menu along with homemade baked goods and local Red Strand coffee, which is an ideal place to meet with friends to have a chat, while also keeping an eye on the children.
They can also design the perfect birthday party, as well as preschool and school tours, with lots of different packages and add-ons available. These must be booked in advance.
Nina is always looking for ways to keep her business fresh and has introduced classes such as baby massage and baby sensory classes.
She hopes to introduce even more classes this year such as exercise classes for mums, and various workshops, but this all depends on the ongoing insurance battle.