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!


Keeping in touch is so important right now, especially as the global pandemic is having such an impact on the way members are accessing Scottish Women's Institutes. We would like your views on the way we communicate with members, this will help shape our future plans.
We would be grateful if members could complete the survey at the link below:


We are all aware that since Lockdown began in mid March, members have been unable to attend meetings face to face, which is after all the main reason for being an SWI member.

The new Board “met” online and have agreed:

  1. The National levy of £23 per member that was collected in by Institutes in 2019 is due to Headquarters by the Federations by 1st November 2020.
  2. To reduce the proposed levy for the coming year by 50% to £12.50 - this to be collected in by Institutes for the 2020/21 session and due by Federations to Headquarters by 1st November 2021.
  3. The 2021/22 levy will be reviewed at a later date. Discussions are taking place about the timing of levy collection and members will have the opportunity to comment.


Creative Crafts Show – SECC 4th – 7th March 2021

The Creative Craft Show is scheduled to take place at the SECC Centre in Glasgow from the 4th – 7th March 2021.   
It would be greatly appreciated if you could volunteer to steward at this event.   Please download the form below for details.


The SWI 2021 Diary and Calendar can now be purchased for £5 each plus postage via the  SWI Online Shop or by emailing financeadmin@theswi.org.uk 


SWI has produced guidance in relation to Covid-19 for Federations and Institutes. Please note, this guidance changes as Scottish Government advice changes and is appropriate at this current time.

Meeting Guidance

Cleaning and Disinfection



For members that are interested in making their own face masks, the NFWI have shared their guides and patterns with us for our members to use.  The patterns can be downloaded below:

The NFWI have updated their patterns to include a three layer mask.

Face Covering September

Fitted Facemask

Fitted Mask 2

Face Mask Filter

Original Face Coverings

NFWI Simple Face Covering

NFWI Fitted Mask

NFWI Fitted Mask Pattern

NFWI Button Band for DIY Face Coverings






It is with regret that the Office Bearers have taken the decision to cancel the following National Competitions and events:

  • Summer School
  • The Small Singing Group
  • National Stadium Bowling Competition
  • National Variations on a Theme Competition
  • National Golf Final
  • Ruralympics
  • Outdoor Bowling Competition
  • The Walking Weekend
  • Handcrafts Weekend School
  • Warnock Trophy Competition (entries can be carried forward to 2021).

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.

In addition, Gardening Scotland and the Royal Highland Show have been cancelled.  Gardening Scotland competitions have been deferred to 2021.



The Scottish Women’s Institute were given the privilege of hosting the next Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW) European Conference in Scotland in October 2020. However, the decision was taken to postpone the Conference to 10th - 14th May 2021. The Conference will still take place at the Golden Jubilee Conference Hotel, Clydebank, Glasgow. All those who have already registered have been contacted. Please note that you can still register at this time by completing and returning the form below. For further information, please email  educ.int@theswi.org.uk

2021 ACWW Conference Registration Form


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:

Mercy Ships


Scottish Women’s Institutes and Netball Scotland team up to bring Walking Netball to Members

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 educ.int@theswi.org.uk for details, marking enquiries 'NETBALL'.

Press Release

Leandra Robertson and Arlene McKay at the launch


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)

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.