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!
Gardening Scotland has unfortunately cancelled this year’s event.
Competitions - it has been agreed that the competitions will be deferred until the next event in 2021. The Federation competition is for a 21st Birthday Card for Gardening Scotland and the individual competition is for 3 Oatcakes. So for those who have entered and those who have not, we would love you to submit your entries next year on this basis. For the ladies who have kindly offered to steward, thank you and if still possible, we would like you to be able to assist with this for next year’s show.
If you have any queries, firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that due to the new restrictions, contact will be through email only.
As you will all be well aware the spread of the corona virus has led to most of our organisation's activities having to be cancelled and our office has had to be closed with the staff working remotely, as best they can.
We did not take the decision to cancel events lightly, but as you know, we were left with no alternative as we wanted to ensure the safety of our members, which is paramount. We have decided that the AGM will have to be postponed to a later date and the appointment of the new office bearers can hopefully be achieved by voting by proxy, as well as approving the charities accounts. Please bear with us whilst we work through the mechanics of how we can achieve this. If we can achieve it, information will be sent to all Federation Secretaries once we have come to a decision with Raymond our CEO on progressing this. All the information would be posted on the members' area of the website for members to access too.
As the office is closed, the contingency for collecting and answering letters will no longer be possible at this time and I ask for your understanding and patience.
I think it goes without saying that the whole country faces a very difficult few months, as we wait for this crisis to pass. I want to thank each of you for your valued support and please stay safe and take care of one another.
The office bearers have had to reluctantly postpone the AGM on Monday 18th May at Royal Scots Club and the committee meetings scheduled for that week within the office. It is hoped that the AGM can be re-arranged. Further information will follow once available.
Following the announcement by the UK Government, the decision has been made to close Headquarters. All staff will be working from home remotely and will be available on email.
The phones in the office will be off during this period of closure but staff can still be contacted directly on their email addresses or via email@example.com .
We would appreciate your patience through this difficult time.
It is with regret that the decision has been taken to cancel this year's SWI Summer School, the decision was made after following Government advice and as you will be aware the safety of our members is of the greatest importance to us. Please note that everyone who applied for a place and sent in a deposit, we will be refunding it as soon as possible. If you need any further information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org (all those not on email, should have recieved a letter).
Gardening Scotland has been cancelled following the latest Government advice surrounding measures to combat the spread of Coronavirus. Further information can be found on the Gardening Scotland website.
The Handcrafts and Homeskills Events Co-ordinator will provide an update in due course.
The RHASS has cancelled the 2020 Royal Highland Show, this is line with Government guidance surrounding the recent outbreak of the Coronavirus. Further information can be found on the Royal Highland Show website
Due to the current circumstances and Government implications and restrictions the decision has been taken to postpone the Handcrafts Weekend School and hold it at a later date. Further details will follow. The attendees have all been informed.
It is with regret that the Office Bearers have taken the decision to cancel the following National Competitions:
It was decided to err on the side of caution, as the continued health and well being of our members is paramount. The Office Bearers do not want to put anyone into a situation where they may be exposed and possibly contract the Coronavirus, as our events can have a large number of participants and spectators.
Please note that we are only cancelling competitions at a National Level.
All other events will be decided on a case to case basis, along with the advice from the Scottish Government in the coming days/weeks.
Welcome to the new-look Women Together magazine It's full of insider news, great features and useful tips - the March issue is now available.
If you don't currently receive the magazine but would like to order your copy for £2 plus P&P or subscribe to keep up to date with SWI news and enjoy reading a variety of features please contact us on 0131 225 1724 or email: email@example.com
We welcome all members to contribute with their own images, articles and news. Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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, email@example.com, 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.
We, the Scottish Women’s Institute will have the privilege of hosting the next European Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW) Conference in October 2020.
ACWW is an International Charity supported by the WI and SWI movement. It is the largest international organisation for rural women and has a uniquely down-to-earth approach, offering mutual support, friendship and practical help to its members.
ACWW supports various projects which supports real-life changes for women in rural communities around the world. They are women-led, designed by women in their own communities who know best what they need, and they are funded through local women’s organisations to ensure maximum impact.
If you would like to attend, please complete the registration form fully, ensuring that you add your ACWW Membership number
We look forward to welcoming the ACWW members to Scotland.
The Scottish Women's Institutes will be supporting Mercy Ships UK as our international charity from 1st December 2019. Any donations for the current charity, Feed the Minds, should be sent to Headquarters as soon as possible.
Mercy Ships operate the world’s largest charity hospital ship delivering free health care to some of the world's poorest people. Further information can be found on their website:
Scottish Women’s Institutes and Netball Scotland have teamed up to take Walking Netball to women across Scotland in a new initiative designed to expand pathways to sport.
The partnership will see more than 14,000 women encouraged to participate in the sport, which is set to be played in village halls and school gyms up and down the country.
Walking Netball is a slower version of the game; it is netball, but at a walking pace. The game has been designed so that anyone can play it regardless of age or fitness level.
A number of SWI members have been trained by Netball Scotland’s facilitators and can now pass on their skills and enthusiasm in their local Institutes to encourage participation and activity. The collaboration will now see members in 663 institutes across Scotland given the opportunity to participate in the gentle activity no matter their experience.
Scottish Women’s Institutes President, Linda Retson, said: “This is an exciting collaboration for us. The Walking Netball programme will join golf, bowls and curling as a key sport for Scottish Women’s Institutes and we are delighted to be working with Netball Scotland and give members a fun, friendly, sociable, safe and very exciting new activity. Getting together to have fun and exercise our bodies and minds fits perfectly with Scottish Women’s Institutes’ outlook and we believe Walking Netball will be a huge hit.”
Geraldine McGuire, Head of Development, Netball Scotland said, “The partnership between Netball Scotland and the SWI celebrates a joint vision to empower women across Scotland. Through the platform of walking netball, we will collaboratively enable women to build vibrant communities across the country where they can learn new skills, share experiences, build friendships and support networks and most importantly have fun.
As a Governing body, Netball Scotland is leading the way in Scotland in the Changing Lives Agenda. This partnership showcases our commitment to extending our reach out with the sporting sector, building networks of expert resource and knowledge which contribute to achieving Active Scotland Outcomes. Together with our partners at Age Scotland and Breathing Space we very much welcome the opportunity to expand our walking netball programme through the SWI membership.”
If members would like to participate please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details, marking enquiries 'NETBALL'.
Since the President launched Junior Dippers in Perth, several other Institutes have launched, or are in the process of launching, their own Junior Dippers Groups. Activities include baking, knitting, crafting, crochet, art and floristry.
Junior Dippers aim to:
There are currently groups in the following areas. If there are no Junior Dippers Groups in your area and you would be interested in starting one, please contact the President.
Perth & Kinross Junior Dippers
Perth & Kinross Junior Dippers meet at the 10th Perthshire Scout Hall, Murray Place, Perth 10.30am-3.00pm and is for girls Primary 4-7 and Secondary 1-3. Dates and further information can be found on the Perth & Kinross Federation website.
Kinross Junior Dippers
Kinross Junior Dippers meeting every second and fourth Saturday of the month at 1.00-2.30pm in the ICT Room of Kinross Library within Kinross Community Campus. For information contact email@example.com
Esslemont Young Dippers, Aberdeenshire
Esslemont Young Dippers first meeting is on Saturday 28th September from 9.30am-12.30pm at the Kirk Centre, Ellon and is for ages 8-16 (P4-S4). They will also meet on 26th October, 23rd November and 21st December. For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
West Lothian Dippers
West Lothian Dippers is for young people aged 8-16 years. They meet on the last Saturday of each month during school term time, except December, from 10.30am-3.00pm in the North Barn of Carmondean Community Centre, Livingston. For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 0788 5411178, There is a £10 annual fee plus £3 per session. Parents are required to complete a registration form.
Fife Junior Dippers
Details to follow.
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 email@example.com
(An extract from Small City Big Personality, Perthshire’s online magazine. By Rhona Maxwell)
The SWI member area is where members can find information from committees, including minutes from meetings, event and competition information and booking forms, member offers, Federation news etc.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Why Join? Well, why not?
Only £50 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 >
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.