ALONG with wearing a bowler hat and talking about the weather, drinking tea is one of the things people around the world associate with slightly mythical concept of British-ness.
But if you suffer from Parkinson's disease or another condition that gives you tremors, such as Motor Neurone Disease or Multiple Sclerosis, enjoying a cuppa with friends and family is not an easy task.
Luckily help, if you'll excuse the pun, is at hand, in the form of a special mug which has been developed by Cambridge inventor Chris Peacock.
The handSteady has an adjustable handle which makes it easier to steady and drink from the cup without spilling your beverage. Already on the market and receiving rave reviews from users, Chris has now launched a crowd-funding campaign to enable him to take the handSteady into mass production, which will lower the price from £40 to £15.
Explaining how the idea for the mug came about, he said: "I have a close family member with Parkinson's, and it was causing him to have tremors that were really limiting his dexterity. I thought there must be a way to make things easier for him."
After first working as an inventor at IBM, Chris spent two years studying industrial design engineering at the Royal College of Art . It was here that he came up with the concept of the handSteady, and after winning several awards for the idea, he decided to turn it into a reality.
"The mechanism uses ball bearings," said Chris. "I worked with an engineer to refine it and we now have the rotatable handle which makes it easier to steady the mug with your other hand and take a drink. It's a lot more effective than a normal mug."
Now the challenge is to get the handSteady to more people who will find it useful, hence the CrowdFunding campaign, which is being run on the IndieGoGoUK platform .
"I want to be able to bring the price down and take it from a premium product to one that is more affordable for the mass market," said Chris.
"I'm talking to healthcare providers and pharmacy chains that are interested in stocking it."
The aim is to raise £10,000, and incentives for investors include tea at the Ritz with their holdSteady cup, or a bulk donation of the mugs to a charity of the investors choice.
For more about handSteady, log on to handsteady.com. Or to be part of the firm's campaign, visit igg.me/at/cuppa.
Via Cambridge News