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!


We are in the process of organising an exclusive SWI shopping evening with John Lewis, Glasgow. Please save the date, Wednesday 23rd October 7-9pm, and we will provide full details as soon as they are available. 


The SWI shop has some fabulous new additions to our range of merchandise. Merchandise can be bought from our online shop or by calling Headquarters on 0131 225 1724.

The SWI Drawstring bags are available in red or blue.  The bags are lightweight and durable, a great way to carry everyday essentials and cost £3.60 each.

The SWI Sports caps are available in red, white or blue, they are 100% cotton with an embroidered SWI logo and cost £8.40.

Wee Fergus the Bear - you can now purchase your own Fergus, the SWI mascot, who is super soft and cuddly with his own SWI t-shirt for £9.60.

Other recent additions to the shop include a fine bone china mug, water bottle and reusable travel mug.


H&H Conference - 10-12 September 2019

The H&H Conference will take place at the Beach Ballroom Aberdeen, The Theme is ‘Stepping Out’

Important – Please note this information and registration forms for Federation Representatives and Visiting Members have been sent to all Federation Secretaries – please contact your Federation for more information.  Information can also be downloaded from the Event & Information section of the website.

Exhibition - The dates for the Exhibition are the afternoon of Tuesday 10th September 2019  2 – 5pm and all day Wednesday11th  September – 9 – 5pm.

Conference - The conference itself will be held on the Wednesday 11th and Thursday 12th September. The Conference will be opened on Wednesday 11th September by Mr Barney Crockett, the Lord Provost of Aberdeen.  


  • Gillian Paterson – Designer & maker of historic costumes & Story Teller
  • Louise Blanchfield - Nutritional Therapist
  • Jim Hume – ‘Support in Mind’ – Scotland’s National Rural Health Forum
  • “Hats by Marjory”–‘My Journey So Far’ – Marjory Tennant, Selkirkshire Federation.  
  • Thursday – Helen McCook, Royal School of Needlework
  • Deborah Leslie – Author, Prize-winning Doric Writer & After Dinner Speaker

It would be greatly appreciated, if you are able to steward for the exhibition or the Conference the forms are available to download in the Event & Information section.

Or contact the H&H Secretary: hand.house@theswi.org.uk or 0131 225 1724



Welcome to the new-look Women Together magazine It's full of insider news, great features and useful tips - the July 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: subscriptions@theswi.org.uk

  • Keep up to date with all latest SWI news from around the country
  • Never miss an issue!

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



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.


It has been a busy month of endings and new beginnings... May’s meetings week saw all of the committees make good progress with planning, but it was tinged with a little sadness as this was the last time that the Executive and Central Council would ever come together. We have been a team for the last two years and I thank all the ladies involved for their support and friendship. I wish you all the very best for the future in whatever you choose to do within our organisation.

As always, when one chapter closes, another opens – and there have been a few opening for our organisation lately. I was delighted to hear that a meeting was held in Kinross to form a new institute in the Perth & Kinross Federation. This was a great success and the ladies have arranged a follow-up meeting. Kinross has also formed a new Junior Dippers group – you’ll see them both on page 6 of the magazine. I wish them all well and look forward to hearing how they progress.

Stewartry of Kirkcudbright Federation show was my first port of call since my  last report. Christine and Graham Hutton very kindly gave me a bed for the night before the show, so it gave Christine and I a chance to catch up, which was lovely. The show was true to Rural standards and their Get Creative event was well received, with many taking part in all the activities on offer. As many of you know,  I love crafts of all kinds, so I was delighted to join in and learn something new as well.

Gardening Scotland was another great showcase for the SWI, with many new contacts made. I hope the ladies who took details of their nearest institute will get in touch with you. Please make sure they get a warm welcome when they make contact. First impressions and all that…

Particularly exciting news is that Anne Kerr, Raymond Pratt, General Secretary, and I had a very positive meeting with Netball Scotland with a view to our organisation taking this up. The sport is suitable for all ages and abilities –  I hope this is something that you will consider in your Federations and after we are all up and running (or should I say walking), we will be able to include this sport in our National Competition calendar. I’m hoping for even more excitement in the coming month as I am off to visit Orkney Federation again. I headed to the island many years ago as an Evelyn Baxter Scholar and also attended a summer school there, so it will be lovely to have another opportunity to catch up with our furthestafield members on the latest of my journeys around this beautiful country.

I saw this quote recently which made me smile – it described exactly how  I sometimes feel: “I am not an early bird or a night owl, I am just some sort of  permanently exhausted pigeon.”

Linda Retson President


SWI Board of Trustees & Committee Application Forms

Application forms for the SWI Board of Trustees and Comittees positions have been sent to Federation Secretaries.   The forms can also be downloaded from the Members' Area of the website. 

Meet Your Office Bearers

The Office Bearers were appointed in May 2017.

Linda Retson National President

Anne Kerr  Vice President

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




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 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.