Hurstpierpoint mum creates free events listing website for community

A Hurstpierpoint mum has built a website to provide a central place for people living in the villages between Ditchling and Albourne to add and find events for free.

Debbie Clare launched ‘WhatsOnHurst’ on Thursday, July 1 and the site received more than 500 visitors on the first day.

She said: “When I moved to Hurstpierpoint from Brighton last year, I had heard that for a small community there was a huge amount going on, and most of the clubs and groups I heard about were via word-of-mouth.

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“Normally I work as a live music booking agent, but Covid had knocked away all of my shows (and 100 per cent of my income) and given me the chance to try and use my time creatively.

The WhatsOnHurst website has been created by Hurstpierpoint mum Debbie Clare SUS-210728-083847001

“Whilst looking after my two-year-old son, I brushed-off my ancient web-design skills and learned about plug-ins and widgets, and managed to cobble together a reasonably decent website.

“I spent weeks collecting email addresses of local businesses who put on events – anything from yoga to theatre to mindfulness to exhibitions to pop-up restaurants to wine tasting – and asked people to get behind the site and begin populating it with their events ahead of the July 1 launch.

“The support was absolutely staggering, and the site was bursting with colour from day one, and now has well in excess of 100 upcoming events.”

The unique function of the site is that event organisers add their own events themselves, and the event then immediately appears in a calendar.

The public can scan the calendar to see what’s on, or search for specific types of events.

Debbie said: “Everything is presented very cleanly, it’s very clutter-free and easy to navigate, and the event upload process is super simple.

“The site now has a really encouraging number of daily visitors – but I need to get word out there, and that’s without any kind of budget for marketing.

“I have had sponsorship from NYEs Building Supplies in Horsham, which covered all of the web hosting and site set up costs.

“The service is completely free – whether that’s a yoga teacher adding their classes, or a family looking for something to do on a weekend – adding and searching for events is, and always will be, free.

“It aims to be the number one go-to place for anyone running an event or looking for things to do in BN6; it doesn’t have to just be Hurstpierpoint (despite the site’s name!), it’s any of the villages between Ditchling and Albourne – any in BN6.”

To visit the site or for more information, visit www.whatsonhurst.org