Saturday 26 September 2020 marks the one year anniversary of More Than My Past, an ambitious campaign that aims to raise awareness of the potential for ex-offenders and people in recovery from addiction to turn their lives around.
To mark the anniversary, More Than My Past is sharing new, inspirational content from campaign ambassadors, much of which focusses on what the past year has taught them about their own resilience.
They include Ilario, who despite facing major challenges with his catering business as a result of Covid is the epitome of positivity, and realised that prison had prepared him for the isolation of lockdown! They also include Andi, who has been sharing his personal story with young people in secure settings for the last five months, helping them realise that they can be more than their past. Then there is Alberto, who realised that in order to survive with his recovery intact, he needed to do something productive every day, and break down big tasks into small ones to make them seem less daunting.
Since its launch, the campaign – run by charity The Forward Trust – has gone from strength to strength. In its first two weeks, press coverage alone was seen by 4.8 million people. During this period, we had 2,203 unique website users, nearly 22,000 unique social media video views, 1,152 social media followers and nearly 6,000 social media engagements.
More Than My Past has since launched a podcast, gained a sizeable social media following, held a Parliamentary event (pre-lockdown, of course!), made a short celebratory film – “What does MTMP mean to you?”, and added over 20 new inspirational stories to the 18 we launched with on our campaign website. We also started the #MTMPLockdownStories, a series of home videos from the ambassadors who are featured on the campaign website about how they were coping with the early coronavirus restrictions.
Chris Difford, musician with rock legends Squeeze and More Than My Past Ambassador, spoke about his pride in being part of the campaign, as well as the past year. “It’s been a strange year, but it’s been fantastic watching More Than My Past grow and develop since it launched. Things since then have definitely been different – I’ve been running online workshops from my shed! The lockdown taught me about the importance of being in the day (and trying not to eat too much!). I’m looking forward to being part of the campaign in the future, being there in the moment, and seeing what else we can achieve.”