THE Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP) is hosting a free family movie night under the stars at the Muswellbrook Race Club this month.
Supported by Aurizon's Community Giving Fund, the event - on Friday, September 27 - will provide those from Muswellbrook and surrounding areas with an evening out from 4.30pm to 9pm, including a barbecue, entertainment by a magician, film screening and popcorn.
The manager of the event, RAMHP coordinator Sarah Green, said the idea for it originated as a result of the ongoing drought in the region.
"Communities are doing it tough and we felt that this event would help to provide an opportunity for people to just have fun, get away from their work and socialise with families and friends," she explained.
"It is so important that during prolonged stressful times, we make time to look after our own mental health and this includes connecting with others and taking time out to do something enjoyable.
"We are so grateful to Aurizon for supporting this event so that we could make it happen and provide a fun, family event that is at very little cost to our community."
Aurizon's local regional operations manager Derek Gibson said providing funding for the movie night was an easy decision for the company.
"Supporting mental health and wellbeing initiatives at work and in our communities is very important to us," he added.
"We know it is incredibly important for people to stay connected during stressful times and this event will help achieve that sense of community.
"Aurizon has many employees who live and work in the local area, so we understand first-hand how the ongoing drought has impacted our community.
"We're excited to be bringing a free event to Muswellbrook, which will provide families with a night out without the worry of finding money to attend."
The movie screening on the night is How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, which will appeal to audiences young and old.
A barbecue, café and bar facilities will be open, too, and event-goers are encouraged to bring along a picnic rug or chair.