A LIFE-CHANGING charity has celebrated the 40th anniversary at its Bark Street base.

About 100 people marked Bolton Deaf Society’s landmark celebration on Saturday.

Staff and volunteers at the charity held a buffet and raffle for guests.

People with hearing difficulties who currently benefit from the service were in attendance, along with former members.

The charity used to be based at Davenport Street but relocated to Bark Street in 1973.

Joyce Knowles, the administrator at the charity, said: “This year we are celebrating our 40 years at Bark Street.

“We had a get together and a lot of past and present members attended.

“Many had been at school together. We had a buffet and an enormous raffle.

“We raised quite a bit of money for the groups. We all had a really good time.”

Bolton has had services for deaf people for more than 140 years.

Mrs Knowles became involved with the charity as a child as her parents were both profoundly deaf.

She started working for the cause 20 years ago and has seen it change over the years.

She said: “The society has been life changing for some people because they have become independent.

“Sometimes we help members with letters that aren’t understandable and help them with phone calls by arranging appointments for them or somebody else.”

She said not as many people come to the charity now but added some deaf children are now able to attend mainstream schools and people are becoming more independent, which is what the cause has always wanted.

The charity offers sign language lessons and signposts people to places where they can get help for different things.

Children’s events such as Hallowe’en parties and Easter activities are held for the children of parents who are deaf.

For more information about the charity and upcoming events, call 01204 521219.