The Smiley Reilly Project is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to supporting families after the loss of their child or children. Our mission is to provide fun, positive experiences to help families stay together and support each other during very difficult times. We believe that being able to laugh and enjoy life goes a long way to helping someone as they navigate their new path in life. We strive to provide a chance for families to smile a little for no reason, to do something fun, and most importantly, to understand that it is possible to grieve whilst also seeing the good in the world and enjoying life.
Founders of The Smiley Reilly Project, Raquel & Jonathan Hall lost their beautiful 6 month old baby boy, Reilly, to SIDS in February 2015. After Reilly passed away The Halls were inundated with support from friends and family near and far, emotionally and, as it turns out, financially. They found themselves in a position whereby they were able to concentrate, not on paying bills and getting back to work immediately, but on the one thing that gave them purpose in the world, their 2 year old Flynn, who forced them to get out of bed each and every day. They did some amazing things with Flynn in those early weeks, at the time thinking they were doing their best to help him understand and adjust to losing his brother. In reality they were helping each other to come to some sort of comprehension of losing their youngest son. Many of the things they did were small, but the light and joy they brought to their life gave them hope for the future and showed them glimpses of the good in this world. They took Flynn to the circus and ate fairy floss and popcorn. They went to Byron Bay and rode bikes; Flynn sat behind Jonathan and laughed with delight – a sound so precious and so healing to them at the time. Realising the power of a smile, they decided to try and give others the glimmer of hope they had experienced through being able to enjoy life again, and in 2016 The Smiley Reilly Project was born.
Each year The Smiley Reilly Project holds a variety of free events inviting families, mums, and dads to enjoy a little ‘Smiley Reilly Sunshine’, do something fun, and connect with other bereaved families. These include our High Tea for mums on International Bereaved Mother’s Day, Dad’s Day Out golfing event on International Bereaved Father’s Day, ‘Gold Class’ Families at the Flicks movie event, and Springtime Picnic in the Park. We also provide personalised ‘Smiley Reilly Packs’ to bereaved families. These contain a variety of gift vouchers which encourage families, when they are ready, to step out into the world after their devastating loss. At Christmas we send out hampers to help make the festive season a little less stressful and a little more special.
Through our own experience we know that grief has no timeline or expiration. The Smiley Reilly Project has created, and through your support will continue to grow, a nurturing community that provides bereaved families with a means of connection no matter when or how they experienced the death of their child or children. Thank you for choosing to support us!