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!

Tommy Competition - Closed

Thank you to everyone who has contributed a story for the Tommy competition.  We have received many very interesting entries which we will review before picking a winner.



Magazine and PR Correspondence

We are in the process of changing our PR company and magazine provider. All the emails/photos/information sent to the following email addresses - magazine@theswi.org.uk or editor@theswi.org.uk, will be received at Headquarters, any queries can also be sent to us using these email addresses.   Emails will be forwarded to our new PR company, Connect Communications. We would appreciate it if you could bear with us during this period of transition.  Many Thanks.


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.
Click here to subscribe >

  • 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.


Highlights from the May issue include:

  • Angela Gilchrist - Celebrating 150 Years of the People's Friend
  • Jay's Needlefelting Journey
  • Farmhouse Breakfasts - a Delicious Start to the School Day
  • Win a Stay at the Macdonald Holyrood Hotel, a Dairy Diary Cookbook or a Heidi Feathers Needlefelting Kit
  • Taking the Biscuit - tasty recipes for National Biscuit Month
  • Tried & tested: The Kingsmuire Institute review chocolate digestives

 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.


President in the Land Down Under

I don’t quite know how to begin my report this month! I am writing it while waiting to leave for our long haul flight home from Australia.

I have had the most amazing time at the ACWW conference here in Melbourne.  To spend 6 days with ladies from all over the world, hearing their reports, some of which were heart rendering, and listen to their enthusiasm was so inspiring. 

Many of the ladies presenting their reports do not have English as their first language so I cannot begin to imagine how difficult it is for them both to write their own reports and then to take in all the others that are being presented.

If I were to give you a full report it would take up all of the magazine.  Through our various meetings in the future I hope to give you much more information.

I do however want to congratulate Alison Burnett from Arran Federation who was appointed Deputy World President and chairman of the Agriculture committee.  I thank Alison and Alison Argo from Kincardineshire for their friendship and company while in Melbourne.

It seems so long ago now, but at the beginning of March I had the privilege of meeting Ruth Shanks, now immediate past World President of ACWW, in Glasgow.  She was very impressed with our choice of venue for the next European Conference to be held in October 2020.

Our members on duty at the Creative Craft Show reported a busy 4 days and said there was a great deal of interest in SWI.

The Country Dance Weekend was again a weekend full of fun and friendship while we learned many new dances under the instruction of our lovely tutors June and Jane.

Lauder and Fenwick SWI’s celebrated their 100th anniversaries – both very different events but equally enjoyable.  Fergus visited with me and had many “selfies” taken!

 St Boswells SWI celebrated their 90th birthdays.  Unfortunately due to a prior engagement I could not attend but I believe they had a wonderful evening. 

It was a lovely spring day when we travelled to Aberdeen for the National Curling Competition.  12 teams took part and the new format seemed to work well giving us an earlier finish to the day.

Now that the holiday is over, I need to seriously think about a healthy diet.  However, perhaps I will just do what one of our speakers advised – she told us “don’t get hung up on your size, if you are not happy take a pen and write 6 on the label”!

Meet Your Office Bearers

The Office Bearers were appointed 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.