CAKE, balloons and a big bespectacled pair of eyes were on show as staff celebrated more a company's 36th anniversary in Taunton.

The Specsavers store has been in East Street since 1987, although it moved four doors along a decade ago.

Throughout its time in the town, the team has helped thousands of people with their sight and hearing, even detecting early signs of serious health conditions, which has helped to save lives.

To mark the birthday, Specsavers Taunton staff decked the building in balloons, organised a competition for children and shared out a celebratory cake.

Among those enjoying the fun-filled events was Holly Wainwright, the store’s director, who said: "We really enjoyed the celebrations. To mark 10 years at this premises is a special achievement, and to have been serving the town for 36 years is fantastic.

‘The celebrations went really well. Everyone really got into the spirit of it.

"Staff were wearing party hats, the whole atmosphere was so enjoyable and lots of people were telling us how they remember when we first opened."

Specsavers Taunton employs 55 people, with some who started working there as teenagers for a Saturday job now being fully qualified opticians.

Alice Knight, the store’s retail manager, said: "We’re proud to be part of the Taunton community.

"Many of us have grown up here and want to be part of Taunton’s bright future for years to come.

"We are always keen to employ local people because we believe in investing in the local talent available, which then has a positive knock-on for the community.

"We also like to give something back to the community, which is why we’re going into hospitals, care homes and hospices to give people free MOTs for their glasses.

"Glasses are so important to people’s lives but, if they can’t get out, faulty glasses can make life difficult sometimes, so we just want to help where we can.

"We’re also going to be attending a careers fair at The Castle School to talk about the many opportunities available in optical businesses."

Any establishments that wish to benefit from the glasses MOTs on offer from Specsavers Taunton can email