The Smiley Reilly Project is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to supporting the families of those directly affected by the loss of an infant or young child. Our mission is to provide fun, positive experiences to help families stay together and support each other during very difficult times.
It may sound frivolous, but being able to laugh and enjoy life goes a long way to helping someone as they navigate their new path in life, one where they will need to learn to carry the weight of their grief as gracefully as possible.
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. Now The Smiley Reilly Project provides similar experiences to other bereaved families and offers them a chance to smile a little for no reason, to do something fun, maybe something that they wouldn’t normally get to do.