Technology transforms humble cup of tea into life-saver for South Yorkshire family

Lily Hutchinson with her granddaughters Rachel White (left) and Jane Cartwright (right)
Lily Hutchinson with her granddaughters Rachel White (left) and Jane Cartwright (right)
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Many Brits say they couldn't live without tea, but for one South Yorkshire family new technology has elevated the humble cuppa to a potentially life-saving beverage.

Every time 92-year-old Lily Hutchinson boils the kettle at her home in Thorne, Doncaster, a plug-in device lets her family know.

The clever contraption also alerts them if she hasn't used the kettle between set times, meaning they can get in touch to check she is OK and hasn't had a fall.

Rachel White, one of four granddaughters, says it gives them peace of mind and has transformed their relationship with Lily.

That's because they're not constantly checking up on her, explains the 39-year-old HR manager, of Ecclesall, and their gran knows when they get in touch they really want to spend time with her.

"It's been a godsend because it means we're not all ringing up all the time to check she's OK, to the extent she gets fed up," says Rachel.

"It's so unobtrusive and enables her to maintain her independence and us to really appreciate the time we spend with her, rather than worrying about how she's been."

Rachel, her dad Bob and her three sisters invested in the 3rings smart plug around a year ago after Lily had spent several weeks in hospital following a nasty fall.

Since then it has twice alerted them when Lily, who has five great-grandsons, fell - once after she broke her pelvis and could have been lying on her bedroom floor all night before a carer arrived.

The 3rings technology doesn't just work with kettles. It can link up with numerous devices to help monitor your loved ones, like TVs or games consoles.

For more about the device, which costs from £12 a month, visit

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