Local crime author Val McDermid wielded a pair of scissors at the opening ceremony at CafeLife in Stockbridge on Thursday.

She officially reopened the revamped CafeLife community cafe on Cheyne Street in a short ceremony where she met café regulars and fans of her books. Dubbed the Queen of Crime, the author has sold over 17 million books to date across the globe and her books are translated into more than 40 languages. Some fans brought their copies of her books with them for signing.

CafeLife is run by local charity LifeCare Edinburgh and all proceeds from café sales go towards the organisation’s vital care services for older people living across Edinburgh.

Val said: “Every community should have a resource like CafeLife. We’re lucky to have it. The LifeCare centre, and all the vital services provided by the charity, help support serious issues such as isolation and loneliness. I’m proud to be supporting LifeCare in its important work”

Local resident and celebrated author Val McDermid was invited along to officially open LifeCare cafe PHOTO ©2022 The Edinburgh Reporter

The pandemic forced the café to close its doors to their loyal sit-in customers in March 2020.  The closure was a real loss to the area as CafeLife is the only full-accessible community café around, offering good value food and drink appealing to all generations and with lots of space for buggies and wheelchairs. 

Opened nearly ten years ago, the team took the opportunity to upgrade the café through the covid-closure. The charity secured emergency funding to revamp CafeLife’s interiors and the kitchen team have spent time creating a new and improved menu to appeal to all tastes and dietary needs. 

CaféLife will be running a series of promotions throughout coming months to celebrate the reopening and to welcome everyone back. 

Local councillors Hal Osler left and Vicky Nicolson right met new CEO, James Wells at the opening PHOTO ©2022 The Edinburgh Reporter

New Chief Executive James Wells said: “I am delighted to see our café reopened by Val. This has been coming for a long time as it was due to happen just before the pandemic. It is great to see it used as a hub for the community in Stockbridge and it provides a major part of our income allowing us to provide services for people with dementia. We also have a lot of other facilities that the community make use of. We are delighted that it is open again – officially.”

Val McDermid in the centre flanked by fans Lynne Grant on the left and Carol Jackson on the right. PHOTO Robin Mair
Fans of local resident and celebrated author Val McDermid attended the opening of LifeCare café when they met the author and had books signed Jack Richardson accompanied Lynne Grant and Carol Jackson for lunch PHOTO ©2022 The Edinburgh Reporter
Local resident and celebrated author Val McDermid was invited along to officially open LifeCare cafe PHOTO ©2022 The Edinburgh Reporter

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