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!


Unfortunately the John Lewis shopping event has been cancelled due to the low response.  Payments will be refunded in due course.

Casalguidi Embroidery Class - 4th-6th December

There will be a Casalguidi Embroidery class at SWI Headquarters, 42 Heriot Row, EH3 6ES. The Tutor will be Jane Currie.  The dates are the 4th – 6th December 2019. 

This class is open to all experienced embroiderers who would like the challenge of learning a new skill. The deadline for applications is Friday the 8th of November and the cost is £75.00. This does not include the materials. There is a limited number of spaces available, so please apply early. For further information please contact the H&H Event Co-ordinator by email: hand.house@theswi.org.uk  or by telephone 0131 285 7117.

Casalguidi Embroidery

This style of embroidery originated in the small village of Casalguidi near Pistoia in Norther Italy. The embroidery techniques used to make Casalguidi embroidery are what makes it so interesting. It is worked on linen with a background of pulled work which contrasts well with the sculptured raised embroidery effect. The rough texture of the needle lace, buttonhole bars and raised stem band, contrast well with the smooth bullion knots and wrapped scrolls. This gives it a feeling of stumpwork. Articles can be embellished further with the addition of tassels and bobbles.

During the 3-day workshop all the techniques will be taught and practiced to produce a small piece of interesting Casalguidi embroidery.

While working, a brief history of the technique will be discussed to gain a better insight of the technique.

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. 



Welcome to the new-look Women Together magazine It's full of insider news, great features and useful tips - the October 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.


 We’re well into Autumn now, the schools are back, and we’ve had Braemar night in Blairgowrie, my home town. It’s a celebration on the evening following the Braemar Highland Games and my husband always says it heralds the start of winter, but he has been proven wrong this year, as we have had some sunny weather!

I’d like to thank all the members who attended the corn dolly class at HQ recently – we made 143 items which will be placed in the goodie bags for the ACWW Conference we are hosting next year. They still have to get small tartan bows attached with a little message for the ladies attending the event. Many friendships are made through working together and this day was no exception.

I was delighted to travel to Arran to attend the National Golf Competition
at Shiskine Golf Club. We were blessed with beautiful weather, the course was excellent, and the view over the sea from the clubhouse was amazing. Thank you, ladies from Arran Federation for looking after us so well.

I have not had time to take on many judging commitments over the last months but did have a day free to attend Killearn Show with some of my fellow Perth and Kinross judges. It was a superb show and we were made very welcome by Grant Farquharson and his team. He seemed to recognise me as soon as we arrived –
I asked him how he knew me, and his reply was “I read the SWI magazine!” I then realised I knew his mum very well, Gladys Farquharson from SC&WP Federation.

Kinloch SWI, which is one of my local Institutes, invited me to give a talk on the structure of the organisation and it was good to hear them welcome a few new members at their first meeting.

The highlight of the month of course was our Handcraft & Homeskills conference in the wonderful Beach Ballroom in Aberdeen. You’ll see all of the action on page 8.

I was also delighted to make it to my own Institute this month to give them an account of my trip to the ACWW World conference. I think everyone agreed that “Pennies for Friendship” are very necessary to help this organisation with the wonderful work they do.

Today I visited Pitlochry Theatre to see Blithe Spirit, followed by tea with the ladies of Kippen SWI and other guests. What a lovely way to celebrate their 100th birthday.

There are a number of SWI celebrations coming up next month as well as an important family wedding. I am looking forward to meeting our members on Harris very soon, too. There’ll be plenty of photos and stories to share with you next time!

Linda Retson President



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:

  • encourage girls to try a variety of skills under the auspices of the SWI
  • nurture our junior members so that in the future they may choose to become members of the adults organisation

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.

Perth & Kinross Junior Dippers

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 swikinrossgroupsec@gmail.com

Kinross Junior Dippers Facebook

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 pmbrown57@gmail.com or coralforgie@aol.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  wldippers@gmail.com  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.






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 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.



The article below highlights the importance of the fundraising that SWI members do for the 'Feed The Minds' and the impact on the girls/women that SWI have supported and continue to support.  Donations should be forwarded to Headquarters, with cheques payable to SWI.

Feed the Minds

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 £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 >

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.