Meet Five x More, a groundbreaking initiative dedicated to saving black lives through community empowerment and health advocacy. Founded by a duo of passionate mothers, Five x More focuses on providing access to vital healthcare services, education, and resources to underserved black communities. With a mission to address systemic inequalities and promote wellness, Five x More is a beacon of hope, striving to create a brighter, healthier future for all.

Tinuke & Clo - Founders of Five x More

1.What made you start the charity Five x More?

We started Five X More through my (Tinuke’s) experience of giving birth to my son in 2017. When I was diagnosed late with preeclampsia, I run a group called Mums and Tea where mums get together, and talk about all things pregnancy and motherhood. Through running Mums and Tea and sharing my story of pregnancy, I realised that my negative story wasn't the only one. There were so many other Black mums like me who had also experienced negative outcomes giving birth within the NHS. When I heard the statistics back in 2018 that Black women at the time were five times more likely to die, I was shocked but I wasn't surprised due to the stories I heard.

I contacted Clo, who at the time ran an organisation called Prosperitys, where she supports, ethnic minorities women during the perinatal stage. We got together as I wanted to do an event, to highlight the disparities that women face because I wanted to change the statistics. It's not right that Black women are dying. Instead of doing an event, we ended up starting a whole organisation and birthed Five X More.

2. What changes do you feel you have made in the NHS since starting Five x More?

So far, the change that we feel we have made in the NHS is building more awareness. Before we started, some health professionals were unaware of the statistics. Some health professionals did not feel comfortable saying the word 'Black' talking and discussing the issues and now they are able to talk about the issues. We have trained health professionals. Health professionals especially those who are Black who left silences and are now able to speak up.

We have also launched our training and maternity wallets in some hospitals around the UK. Our maternity wallets are designed for women to add their maternity notes to but also have information for women to advocate for themself. It has information on when to call the midwife, how to look after your wellbeing, when to come to the hospitals etc.

3. These figures are quite worrying, what needs to be done to change the narrative?

Yes the figures are quite worrying, but one thing we do want to highlight is that overall the number of deaths in the UK is quite low. There is just a disparity in who is dying, and that is what we campaign for at Five X More.

There's a lot that needs to be done but we can't pinpoint it to one thing. We feel that more action needs to be done in several areas. Obviously, we know that the NHS is under a lot of strain at the moment. There are not a lot of resources, but to be honest without the midwives, nothing can be done. There needs to be more done to recruit and retain more midwives. Midwives also need to be taught about some disparities Black women face. The curriculum needs to change for example, they're not trained on the way conditions look like on black skin. We know that the system's not made for women, especially if you're a Black women.

4. Since starting Five x More, what obstacles have you faced?

One huge obstacle has been lack of resources. What we mean by lack of resources, without the funding, we can't employ more people which ultimately means that we get burnout doing the work with just the two of us. It means that the work that we should be doing, we're not able to do without the funding. Without sufficient resources we have to work part-time and find another way of getting income to sustain ourselves to put food on the table and pay rent. It means we are not able to do work that we actually want to do fully and help continue to make a difference.

Another one of the obstacles is dealing with traumatic experiences day in, day out and having nowhere to have an outlet. It's very draining. Working on such a traumatic topic is draining because you're dealing with women who look like you, some of them who are the same age as you who are dying, become disabled or are having really, really bad experiences from giving birth. And you have to be strong for them. You wake up to negative news, you always see negative news. It's hard.

5. You have been featured on TV, news articles and spoken at many events. What would you say has been a highlight for Five x More?

We have a few highlights from running Five X More, but the ones that really stand out to us, is gaining 187,000 signatures on our petition that led to Black maternal health being discussed in Parliament for the first time ever in its history. We were also nominated for Petition of the Year along with Marcus Rashford which was a very big highlight.

We also were also able to start the Black maternal health APPG (All party parliamentary group) which has been instrumental in getting MP’s and the government to listen to all the updates in black maternal health and try and make a change. Another highlight for us was being named a Black history maker by Good Morning Britain in 2022.

6. Where do you see Five x More in 5 years?

In five years, we hope Five x More no longer exists because the disparities would have gone down and there'll be better maternal outcomes for Black women and all women everywhere.

You can visit their website here:

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February 22, 2024