About SWI

The first Women’s Institute was formed in Scotland in Longniddry, East Lothian in 1917. With our office in Edinburgh, 29 Federations and 500 groups across Scotland we are proud to bring women together across the length and breadth of Scotland.

Our vision is for all women to find opportunities with the Scottish Women’s Institutes, an internationally recognised and well-respected membership organisation that is ambitious, relevant, and inclusive.

Scottish Women's Institutes has a rich history across Scotland’s communities, promoting education and connecting women locally and nationally to improve their quality of life through friendship, education, sharing and having fun.

Get in touch to find out more!

OUR TIMELINE

Learn about our history from origination in 1917 through to today. It's been a fascinating and eventful journey.

Simply scroll through to explore our history.


Board and Staff

Board:

  • Mary Burney - President 
  • May Tosh - Treasurer 
  • Anne Kerr
  • Karen Johnson 
  • Joan Hutchinson
  • Linda Riddell
  • Susie Finlayson
  • Jane Hogg
  • Linda McTurk
  • Sybil Stuart

Staff:


THE SWI

OUR VISION

All women can find opportunities with Scottish Women’s Institutes, an internationally recognised and well-respected membership organisation that is ambitious, relevant, and inclusive.

OUR MISSION

Scottish Women's Institutes have a rich history across Scotland’s communities, promoting education and connecting women locally and nationally to improve their quality of life through friendship, education, sharing and having fun. 

OUR AIMS

  • Build inclusive, diverse communities for women and girls
  • Advance education and skills
  • Provide a platform for social activities and networking
  • Promote the preservation and development of our cultural heritage
  • Campaign and work with like-minded organisations at home and abroad

 


CENTENARY BANNERS

The Centenary Banners were proudly showcased at 42 Heriot Row, drawing in visitors eager to admire them.

The concept of crafting banners to commemorate the Centenary was initially proposed by Christine Hutton, National Chairman from 2014 to 2017, during the Handcrafts and Housewives Conference at Perth Concert Hall in September 2016.

With enthusiastic support from delegates, the idea was further deliberated by the Executive Committee in November 2016. It was unanimously decided that all Institutes would be invited to contribute a three-inch square showcasing any craft of their choice. Each Institute received a four-inch square of backing material to facilitate seam allowances.

By April 2017, a remarkable total of 619 squares had been received at Heriot Row. Under the coordination of Linda Retson, a dedicated team was assembled to assemble the banners. They meticulously sewed the squares together, affixed them to backing material, and embellished them with braid and the distinctive 'Rural' tartan. Special recognition goes to Jessie Meikle, alongside Jan Bryson, Janet Bryson, and Mary Reid, who invested countless hours perfecting the finishings and incorporating the tartan.

The creation process for the banners spanned over 821 hours and utilised approximately 500 meters of stitching.

Heartfelt gratitude is extended to all the members whose talents contributed to the creation of these squares. Following their display at Heriot Row from April 2018 to September 2023, the banners have been carefully archived, forming an integral part of the SWI Heritage project.

 

 

South East Banner

South West Banner

North East Banner

West Highland, Central and North Banner


Our Constitution

The SWI have a formal Constitution which all members and prospective members can view here.  The Constitution was agreed by Central Council on 25th April 2019, however the constitution is currently under review.

If you have any queries about the Constitution, please contact us at hello@theswi.org.uk.

SWI Constitution

Board of Trustees Terms of Reference

Finance Committee Terms of Reference

National Committees - Trophies

Guidelines for setting up a new Institute/Group


SWI Policy Statements

The SWI has produced the following policy statements:

Portion Food Sizes

Reduction in Sugar Content

Use of Plastics

 


Press & Media

For any media or press inquiries, please contact us on 0131 285 7114 or hello@theswi.org.uk