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More Than My Past

Marie-Claire O'Brien

Marie-Claire O’Brien's 14-month jail sentence was a shock to her system that resulted in an emotional breakdown – but also, the beginning of a new chapter in her life. After release, Marie-Claire used her experience to set up New Leaf, a West Midlands-based social enterprise which offers support to those facing the many challenges of life after prison. Her conversation with Jason focused on her time inside and how she’s since managed to channel her guilt into motivation for helping others turn their own lives around. We hope you’ll agree that Marie-Claire’s story is living proof of the importance of second chances. 


For more information and to view dozens more stories, go to www.morethanmypast.org.uk

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  • What's To Be Done?

    39:45
    In this final episode of series 2 of the More Than My Past episode, hosts Julie and Jason are joined by Forward Trust Chief Executive Mike Trace to speak about the themes covered in the series and reflect on how our approach to addiction and crime might be improved. Guests from the series with lived experience are asked to sum up how they’d change things if they had the chance. Ideas include outlawing short term sentences, improving education around addiction, and treating offenders with empathy instead of a desire to punish.Listen back to our previous episode titled ‘Introduction to Series 2’ for the backstories of the inspiring people you hear from in this one.For more information and to view dozens of inspiring stories, go to www.morethanmypast.org.ukIf you've been affected by anything you've heard in this podcast and want some help, you can speak to Forward's Reach Out online chat service at https://www.forwardtrust.org.uk/find-support/reach-out-online-chat/  
  • Prison Release

    34:12
    This episode is all about prison release - and the thoughts, feelings and practicalities that go along with it. Our hosts film star Jason Flemyng and Forward Trust Executive Director of Recovery Julie Muir explore the topic with a selection of guests from Series 2 who have all come out and stayed out. Leaving priaon can so often fill people with anxiety and uncertainty. Without the right support in place, re-offending can sometimes seem like the easiest option, especially when addiction is involved.  Julie and Jason chat to a range of guests on everything from the support services which help people to prepare for release, the challenges of leaving prison while still struggling with addiction, and the key ingredients for a successful return to life on the outside.  Listen back to our previous episode titled ‘Introduction to Series 2’ for the backstories of the inspiring people you hear from in this one.For more information and to view dozens of inspiring stories, go to www.morethanmypast.org.ukIf you've been affected by anything you've heard in this podcast and want some help, you can speak to Forward's Reach Out online chat service at https://www.forwardtrust.org.uk/find-support/reach-out-online-chat/  
  • House and Home

    32:08
    Safe accommodation is a massive factor for those seeking to move on from addiction or time in prison. Without it, cycles of addiction and offending are all too easy to fall back in to. In this episode, Jason, Julie and their guests explain how housing situations have shaped their journeys. As you’ll hear, some of them are now involved in organisations which help people with this specific issue.Listen back to our previous episode titled ‘Introduction to Series 2’ for the backstories of the inspiring people you hear from in this one.For more information and to view dozens of inspiring stories, go to www.morethanmypast.org.ukIf you've been affected by anything you've heard in this podcast and want some help, you can speak to Forward's Reach Out online chat service at https://www.forwardtrust.org.uk/find-support/reach-out-online-chat/  
  • Stigma

    33:48
    Jason and Julie are again joined by our amazing cast of guests for series two, who discuss stigma surrounding a past that includes offending and/or addiction. From dating to job applications and insurance, this episode shines a light on the struggles that societal stigma creates. It also makes the point that we are all more than just one thing, so, as Julie puts it at the close of the episode, don’t turn your back on someone just because they’ve fallen.Listen back to our previous episode titled ‘Introduction to Series 2’ for the backstories of the inspiring people you hear from in this one.For more information and to view dozens of inspiring stories, go to www.morethanmypast.org.ukIf you've been affected by anything you've heard in this podcast and want some help, you can speak to Forward's Reach Out online chat service at https://www.forwardtrust.org.uk/find-support/reach-out-online-chat/
  • Education and Work

    35:23
    Actor Jason Flemyng interviews former prisoners and people in recovery with powerful stories to tell, exploring their struggle to turn their lives around and challenging the barriers and stigmas that can hold these people back.For more information and to view dozens of inspiring stories, go to www.morethanmypast.org.ukIf you've been affected by anything you've heard in this podcast and want some help, you can speak to Forward's Reach Out online chat service at https://www.forwardtrust.org.uk/find-support/reach-out-online-chat/If you are in a crisis, contact the Samaritans - https://www.samaritans.org/
  • Role Models, 'Road Models' and Supporters

    34:08
    This episode continues More Than My Past's legacy of exploring the inspiring transformative experiences of everyday people which have led them into a new life of opportunity and productivity. Jason and Julie discuss the importance of role models and supporters - how they can appear at any time in life and bring about the most unexpected changes. From miracles behind prison bars to teachers who made a lasting impact, this podcast will lift your spirits and work wonders for anyone who is looking for a fresh start this New Year.Listen back to our previous episode titled ‘Introduction to Series 2’ for more of the backstories of the inspiring people you hear from in this one.For more information and to view dozens of inspiring stories, go to www.morethanmypast.org.ukIf you've been affected by anything you've heard in this podcast and want some help, you can speak to Forward's Reach Out online chat service at https://www.forwardtrust.org.uk/find-support/reach-out-online-chat/If you are in a crisis, contact the Samaritans - https://www.samaritans.org/
  • In The Family

    35:56
    Warning: this episode contains descriptions of violence and abuse which some may find difficult to hear.Difficult family backgrounds are sadly common among those who fall into the grasps of addiction or offending. Family members can also provide vital sources of support for people struggling to overcome difficult pasts. In this episode, we hear from former offenders and people in recovery with a wide variety of family histories who describe the part their families have played in their journeys - for better and for worse. Listen back to our previous episode titled ‘Introduction to Series 2’ for more of the backstories of the inspiring people you hear from in this one. For more information and to view dozens of inspiring stories, go to www.morethanmypast.org.ukIf you've been affected by anything you've heard in this podcast and want some help, you can speak to Forward's Reach Out online chat service at https://www.forwardtrust.org.uk/find-support/reach-out-online-chat/ If you are in a crisis, contact the Samaritans - https://www.samaritans.org/
  • Rory Stewart

    35:43
    Our guest for this special, political edition of the More Than My Past podcast is former Conservative politician, Rory Stewart. Rory served as Minister of State for Prisons under David Cameron’s government prior to the 2019 general election. He’s also held roles as Environment Minister and Minister for International Development. You can now hearing him chatting to former More Than My Past guest Alastair Campbell on their chart-topping podcast, ‘The Rest is Politics’.A rare government figure of recent years who seemed to have a genuine will to help and understand those in prison, we were keen to ask Rory about his time in the role as well as his wider views on the subject. Forward Chief Executive Mike Trace, who worked as an advisor on drugs to the Blair government, joined Forward Executive Director of Recovery Julie Muir to ask the questions.For more information and to view dozens of inspiring stories, go to www.morethanmypast.org.ukIf you've been affected by anything you've heard in this podcast and want some help, you can speak to Forward's Reach Out online chat service at https://www.forwardtrust.org.uk/find-support/reach-out-online-chat/ If you are in a crisis, contact the Samaritans - https://www.samaritans.org/
  • Introduction to Series Two

    17:49
    Actor Jason Flemyng introduces new co-host Julie Muir along with the stars of a brand new series of the More Than My Past podcast. Taking a documentary-style approach, Jason and Julie will be speaking to a range of inspiring people in a series of thematic episodes exploring topics including family background, housing, stigma, education and work. There’s also a special interview with former Minister of State for Prisons, Rory Stewart. Make sure you hit subscribe and stay tuned.Our Series 2 guests are:Michael Balogun - https://twitter.com/mikejbal Marie-Claire O'Brien - https://newleafcic.org/ Jane SheaLiz Jones - https://www.uos.ac.uk/people/liz-jonesCorey Johnson - https://www.coreyjohnsonuk.com/Raf Chaves - https://www.youtube.com/@fromdopetohope Tony Attwood - https://www.hopeandvision.org.uk/Speedo Mick - https://www.thespeedomickfoundation.org/For more information and to view dozens more stories, go to www.morethanmypast.org.ukIf you've been affected by anything you've heard in this podcast and want some help, you can speak to Forward's Reach Out online chat service at https://www.forwardtrust.org.uk/find-support/reach-out-online-chat/ If you are in crisis, contact the Samaritans - https://www.samaritans.org/