Welcome to the Scottish Women’s Institutes. Scotland’s leading member based organisation created by women in 1917, designed to bring women together, with a vision to welcome every woman in Scotland to join us.

We are here to educate, to share, to campaign, to learn, to socialise, to build a community and of course, to have fun.

From life skills and arts and crafts to raising awareness of current affairs affecting women and helping inform government issues, the SWI is proud of its heritage and our future vision.

Be part of the SWI. Join us to learn how to make that perfect scone… and a bit more too!


Subscribe to the SWI monthly magazine for only £2.00 per issue
Like to receive your copy? Call us on 0131 225 1724 or email to find out more and to be added to our subscription list.
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  • Keep up to date with all latest SWI news from around the country
  • Never miss an issue!

Learn about events, competitions, interesting features, Federation and Institute updates, Headquarter news plus browse our images showcasing monthly activities.

In this month's magazine

Highlights from the March issue include:

  • The Art of Coorie explained
  • Win a luxury break for two to the Inchyra Hotel
  • Farmhouse beauty with Michelle Porter
  • Straw worker Elaine turns hobby into business
  • Nonagenarian recalls Empire Exhibition of 1938
  • Baked beans tested
  • Store cupboard recipes

 Plus letters, local and national news, reviews, puzzles

Order your copy, for £2 plus P&P, from subscriptions@theswi.org.uk

We welcome all members to contribute with their own images, articles and news. Simply email magazine@theswi.org.uk.

If you don't currently receive the magazine but would like to subscribe to keep up to date with SWI news and enjoy reading a variety of features please contact subscriptions@theswi.org.uk


Advertise in Women Together

Reach around 17,000 women throughout Scotland by advertising in  Women Together, the monthly magazine of the SWI.
Reasonable rates and special discounts.

Why Advertise?
The SWI has around 16,000 members throughout Scotland. Most are 50+, often with rural backgrounds and interests. However, an increasing number of younger, urban based women, are now joining the organisation.

To reflect the needs of a new, younger readership, the magazine has recently been relaunched in a new A4 format with features on Beauty, Fashion, Food and Drink and Women’s Issues, as well as national updates and news from groups around the country.
Our advertising rates have been frozen at A5 prices until May 2016. So, you get twice the size for the same price!

Contact magazine@theswi.org.uk for further information and a complimentary copy of the magazine.

Full page £347; half page £174; quarter page £100; eighth page £65 (not inc VAT).
If you are an SWI member or a registered charity you receive 20% discount.
Reduced rates for serial ads and a free editorial with 3 consecutive ads.

Women Together Wants Your Features!

We welcome contributions from external writers.

We’re looking for features on a wide range of subjects including crafts, food and drink, women’s issues, travel, health, lifestyle and general interest. If you can supply high resolution, good quality photographs as well that would be a bonus! Length should be between 600 and 1200 words – and currently we’re particularly looking for longer articles. Fee negotiable.

Please send all copy to The Editor, magazine@theswi.org.uk, or SWI, 42 Heriot Row, Edinburgh EH3 6ES. Copy deadlines are the 26th of each month, eg 26 January for the March issue (out end of February).


Material submitted should be original. Although great care is taken with everything submitted, Women Together is not responsible for any loss or damage which may occur.


As I arrived home tonight after spending the day with two of my grandchildren, I realised it was still daylight. Isn’t it nice to see the days drawing out?

The first two months of the year are always a bit quieter for your Office Bearers but there have been a few meetings. Molly Sangster, our honorary treasurer, and I, along with our finance officer and general secretary, had a meeting in early January with our auditor. He again stressed very seriously that we are at the point where every member must complete a membership form to be a member of the organisation.

The staff at Headquarters have been working very hard to get the new membership cards and leaflets advising of discounts out to members. Please bear with us – do not be alarmed if some have got them and you have not. They will all come eventually, providing we have your completed form.

This has been a mammoth task for the ladies. As has been said before, if we do not have a membership form for you then you will not be issued with a membership card and subsequently will not be able to take advantage of the discounts on offer.

I attended Strathallan Institute’s 80th birthday party in Auchterarder Golf Club on 10 January. It was a lovely evening spent with many friends from Perth & Kinross Federation.

I managed to attend my own Federation executive meeting which was followed by a Junior Dippers planning meeting. We have now extended the age limit for our girls as one or two were due to leave the group. This extension has been welcomed by the girls as they are thoroughly enjoying the various activities on offer. We have a great program organised for our group this year which also includes a music and drama day.

I had hoped more Federations would take up the challenge of starting groups – please think about it. Don’t leave it to your committee members – they are far too busy. With a few “news” items in your local paper (they are free) and a couple of friends to help with the organisation, all you need to do is find a room somewhere, twist some arms to give a bit of time to pass on their skills and off you go! Do remember though that those in charge (not necessarily the tutors) will have to complete Disclosure forms.

We have now made progress with the organisation of the ACWW European Conference which SWI is hosting in 2020. This event will be held at the Golden Jubilee Conference Hotel and Conference Centre which is set in tranquil grounds on the banks of the River Clyde in Clydebank, near Glasgow, from 12 – 15 October 2020. Remember, as an SWI member you can also attend. Further information will be available as we begin to plan for the event so please check Facebook and our website. We will also send information to all Federation secretaries.

I sent out a letter in November last year asking for your help in fundraising for this event which has to be self-funding. Please refer to the letter for ideas and, if possible, could we have any donations sent in to Headquarters by the end of this year. Your help will be very much appreciated.

At the conference, goodie bags will be given to those attending which usually contain local information and a few keepsakes. It is our intention to organise a class with Elaine Lindsay of Something Corny, making either a hairst knot or a small heart which will be embellished with SWI ribbon and a short message. The class, on a date to be arrange, will be for around 20 members to be held at Headquarters, and we hope that these ladies will agree to make around 7 each for inclusion in the bags.

We will also require help to make tartan corsages to be given to all the ladies attending the gala dinner during the conference. We have already been given a donation of pieces of tartan for this purpose. If you are interested in helping with either of these projects please get in touch with me.

Meet Your Office Bearers

The office bearers were appointed following the central council in May 2017.

Linda Retson National Chairman

Anne Kerr Senior Vice Chairman

Anne Howat Junior Vice Chairman

Molly Sangster Honorary National Treasurer



SWI Policy Statements

The SWI has produced the following policy statements:

Portion Food Sizes

Reduction in Sugar Content

Use of Plastics

Feed the Mind



Perth SWI Junior Dippers

Perth SWI has launched a ‘Junior Dippers’ club for girls in P4-S4.

Building links with their local communities has never been more important, and in an effort to do just that, Perth has launched a ‘Junior Dippers’ club for girls in P4-S4. The first couple of sessions have been a huge hit, and over the next few months there will be more with baking, knitting, crafting, crochet, art and floristry all on the agenda.

It’s only £10 for an annual junior membership, and £2 per class to cover expenses. Classes run from 10.30am – 3pm and parents are encouraged to drop the kids off with a packed lunch and head for a coffee or do some shopping in town before coming back for them later.

I chatted with Linda Retson, who pitched the idea to the local federation, and is also the SWI national chairman, and she’s keen to see it succeed;

“The pilot scheme in Perth is one of the first of it’s kind, with a similar idea in Caithness having already taken off. We had 15 girls take part in our first session, and are keen to hear from many others who’d like to come along or register their interest. The idea behind ‘Junior Dippers’ is to give younger girls the opportunity to dip in and out of different crafts and skills, and give members a chance to pass on their expertise and share their passions.”


Lots of fun for all ages

I chatted with Linda Retson, who pitched the idea to the local federation, and is also the SWI national chairman, and she’s keen to see it succeed;

“The pilot scheme in Perth is one of the first of it’s kind, with a similar idea in Caithness having already taken off. We had 15 girls take part in our first session, and are keen to hear from many others who’d like to come along or register their interest. The idea behind ‘Junior Dippers’ is to give younger girls the opportunity to dip in and out of different crafts and skills, and give members a chance to pass on their expertise and share their passions.”

At the moment the group takes place at The Hub, on King Street in Perth, although an alternative venue may be sought if numbers increase, and they hope to introduce sport and outings later in the year. The next planned dates in 2018 are 26th May, 25th Aug, 24th Nov (which will be a special Christmas crafts theme with a show and tell to SWI members!), and depending on interest more dates may be added.

If you know a young girl who’d love to learn some new skills then get in touch or register your interest by contacting Heather on pandkfedsec@outlook.com

(An extract from Small City Big Personality, Perthshire’s online magazine. By Rhona Maxwell)


The SWI Cookbook is jam packed with recipes guaranteed to fulfil all tastes!


From simple starters and scrumptious soups through to mouth-watering main courses and delightful deserts, the cookbook has been created by members, professional chefs and celebrity chefs including:

  • Neil Forbes
  • Lady Claire Macdonald OBE
  • Nick Nairn
  • Tony Singh

Indulge in a mix of traditional and contemporary dishes and try out new meals for you and your family and friends.

The perfect gift to yourself, or to your friends and family! 


The SWI Online Members Area is now ready for you.

If you are already a member and registered to the website, simply login using your unique username and password. Or if you are a SWI member, but not registered to the website as yet, you can do that just now, it only takes a few minutes. Register here >

The Members Area is here to add content to and we encourage our members to contribute. Simply submit to hello@theswi.org.uk 


Why Join? Well, why not?

  • Be part of a nationwide group of women all with the same vision and passion for sharing and learning skills
  • Learn a new craft or skill in a sociable and welcoming environment local to you
  • Meet women with similar interests on a regular basis
  • Take part in social events and arts and craft competitions
  • Campaign on issues that matter to you and your community 



Only £45 one off initial fee for all new members who join online. And you will receive a free copy of our magazine each month*


Every week, every month and every year, we have a wide range of exciting events and activites that take place throughout Scotland.
These can be arranged at National level, Federation level or locally at Institute level.

View our Events Diary for a list of our forthcoming events >

Also keep up-to-date on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter !

Find Your Local Institute

We would love to welcome new members to any of our institutes so you can come along, enjoy the atmosphere, discover more about what we do, then select the institute that suits you best. You can join an institute for a small fee (approx £20-£35) per year and enjoy all the benefits of being a member.