SWI Board


President - Anne Kerr

Appointment subject to approval at AGM

I joined Loudounhill SWI in Ayrshire over 30 years ago. I have been Institute Secretary, Treasurer and President as well as a committee member. Following my term as Institute President, I was elected to the Federation Executive Committee and went on to serve as Junior and Senior Vice Chairman and then Federation Chairman.

During this time I was elected as one of the Central Councillors for Ayrshire Federation and served on the International Committee and then the Education and International committee following the amalgamation of the Committees.

I have served as Junior Vice Chairman when I was Convenor of the Education and International committee and Senior Vice Chairman when I was Convenor of the Magazine Committee which amalgamated with the Marketing Committee and became the Communications Committee.

I have enjoyed all these roles.

Outwith SWI, I am a dairy farmer in partnership with my elder son. My interests include reading, knitting, dressmaking and embroidery all of which have been set aside until Lockdown came along!

I also enjoy cooking and baking for my family and friends.

The SWI has given me many opportunities to learn different crafts and skills, make friends and travel around our beautiful country. I hope that more will join us and discover these pleasures.

Vice President - Mary Burney

Appointment subject to approval at AGM

I started going to ‘Rural’ meetings before I left school.  My mother was a member of Whinnieliggate Institute, a small village in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright, and I went along with her.  I have been a member ever since.   Following my marriage I changed to another Institute and, finally, when my husband changed jobs, to the Institute I now attend.  During my time as a member I’ve held every position within my own Institute – several times - and I’m currently President of Clarebrand SWI.  I also served on the Federation Executive Committee for twelve years and, for most of that time, was Federation Treasurer, a post that I handed over at our AGM in January.  I was also privileged to be part of the team that recently reviewed the SWI Constitution.  I enjoy lots of the activities organised by the SWI at local, Federation and National level especially the walking weekends and the country dance weekends.

While my two girls were growing up I worked part time in administration within the Education system and moved to Social Work Services when I returned to work on a full time basis firstly reviewing services for People with Learning Disabilities and finally to monitoring contracts for adult care purchased through Social Work Services.

I’m involved with my village church as Session Clerk and help with the administration of the local agricultural show.  I enjoy walking, Zumba and knitting but my passion is dancing.  I teach Scottish Country Dancing but my first love is Ballet.  I always think country dancing is like the SWI – no matter where you go there is a local group you can visit and you’ll always get a warm welcome from like-minded folk!

Honorary Treasurer - Dawn Endean

Appointment subject to approval at AGM
I'm 38 years old, married and with two boys aged 11 and 13. Living in a house with three men gives me one more reason to treasure my SWI nights twice a month! 
I work in anti money laundering compliance in the financial services sector. I'm looking forward to putting some of my regulatory experience to good use as Honorary  Treasurer. 
I've been a member of Leith SWI (Edinburgh) since the first meeting in 2013 and served three years as president. Previously I was secretary of Tea & Tarts WI (Huddersfield) which I also joined on their first meeting back in 2010. 

Aileen Cavers

I am a member of Ewes Institute in Dumfriesshire Federation and have been a member from the age of 14.  I particularly enjoy cooking, baking and all of the crafting opportunities which have been made available to me as a member of SWI, as well as the competition opportunities and most importantly the friendships with ladies from all over Scotland.

My family run a substantial hill farming enterprise in the Ewes Valley, where I help out as and when I can, especially at busy times of the year.  My day job is as a Manager of a GP Practice, which I do on a job-share basis, enabling me to fulfil the role of Lead GP IT Facilitator for NHS D&G which dovetails nicely.  These roles have helped me to develop a wide range of people and technological skills which I feel will be useful in my role on the Board.

I am also involved with a number of local Community organisations, most significantly as a Kirk Elder and Superintendent of our healthy Sunday Club, I am very involved with our local Hall Committee and also the Industrial Secretary of our local Agricultural Show which, with over 1200 Industrial entries has one of the largest Industrial Sections in the country.  I enjoy giving my time to the Community in these roles.

I am looking forward to the challenge of being a Trustee on the Board of SWI and building on the work that has been done to change and modernise the organisation.

Kirsty Forsyth

I have been a member of SWI Lamlash Institute for 4 years, on our committee for 3, and am now Vice President.

I enjoy the SWI friendships I have made since coming to Arran and was the convenor of the Arran Federation Annual Show last year.   I’m looking forward to meeting more SWI members across the country in my role as a Board Trustee.

I finally retired in December 2018, after a career in the NHS both as an occupational therapist, then clinical services manager, before working for Scottish Government.  My main interests are my family, pottery, quilting, crafts and travel. 

Anne Howat

My home is in Coylton in Ayrshire where I live with my husband John and we have 3 daughters who are all married. I am a currently a member of Stair Institute and formerly of Coylton which sadly closed 3 years ago. My membership of the SWRI/SWI spans 45 years and have served as an Office Bearer at Institute, Federation and National level. I am an enthusiastic and loyal member who has supported the SWI actively by getting involved in many of the activities this organisation offers.

Having served at Federation and then National level as a Central Councilor, Office Bearer and Convener of the Education & International Committee I have gained a greater knowledge of the range and scope of activities the SWI offer to the members. My most memorable time has been serving as National Junior-Vice Chairman/President for the past 3 years, as this post is redundant in the new constitution, I will be the last person to hold this post. As a member of the Board of Trustees I look forward to continuing supporting the Scottish Womens Institutes.

Joan Hutchison

Born in the Borders, in Duns, and brought up in Berwickshire. Educated in Edrom at the village school then on to Duns Primary School before attending the Berwickshire High School.

After studying at Edinburgh University I trained as a teacher and taught geography before spending most of my teaching days working with Primary children. 

Being retired has not seen extra free time but a lifestyle that seems more hectic. Retirement does allow time to be with family, go traveling and explore the rest of the world  and time to pursue my main hobby the 'SWI'.

I am married to Charlie, a retired headteacher, who describes himself as my 'social secretary'.We have family nearby on Whalsay, in Lerwick, Edinburgh, Switzerland and Qatar.

 My mother was a member of Edrom SWRI and when I was a teenager I went with her to institute meetings. On moving to Shetland in 1976 I joined the local Whalsay institute. An excellent way to make friends and become part of an island community.

At present I am president of Whalsay SWI and have been Junior Vice Chairman, Senior Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Shetland Federation.

This has given me the opportunity to enjoy many meetings and events in Shetland over the past four decades. I have had great support from SWI ladies of all ages and have learned much from their lives and experiences.

For three triennium I have been Central Councilor for Shetland serving on H&H, Education & International, Magazine  [Vice convenor], Communications and H&H Conference committees. I was also a member of the Marketing committee and saw the organisation taking steps to move forward.

 I would like to contribute to the preservation of this historic organisation.  This family of ladies deserves to live on and be respected for all of its achievements.

There is nothing better than enjoying fun and friendship and the support of fellow members at meetings, gatherings and events at local, Federation and National level.  Laughter is a great tonic and should be heard at all events.

I look forward to my new role on the Board of Trustees as SWI moves on into the future.



Karen Johnson

Hello, I’m Karen and my SWI journey began in 2010 when I spotted a photo in the local paper showing a fun looking group trying out Bollywood dancing. I’d just moved to the area and was looking for ways to get involved in the community and make new friends. I’m so glad I found the SWI. I went along to their next meeting, which was only the 4th since the South Queensferry institute had reopened. I’ve previously held the role of correspondence secretary and I am still an active current committee member, which includes helping to plan for our institute’s 10th Birthday celebrations in Sept 2020.  I’m really looking to working with you all on the new board.

Linda Riddell

Married to Stewart for 45 years, one son who is married to Naomi and they have one daughter Hannah, they live in Perth Western Australia and we have visited them a few times over the years.

 My first Rural was Mellerstain in 1974, then we moved to Earlston, and I became a member there, carried out various duties within the Institute of which I am still a member. Also became Central Councillor for Berwickshire Federation and had the honour of being Federation Chairman and I am now Federation Treasurer as well as Show Secretary.

 Also had the honour of being elected Convenor of the Handcrafts and Housewives (Homeskills) Committee, a role which I enjoyed greatly. It was a very hectic 3 years with lots of things going on, but it was a wonderful opportunity to be involved with this Committee.


Katie Wood

Katie joins us from Longniddry SWI, East Lothian.  She has a background in management and leadership in regulatory organisations, in particular in membership organisations.  She has an excellent knowledge of governance matters and the work of committees and boards.  In her spare time, Katie loves cooking, baking, growing veggies and crafting.  She also enjoys walks and adventures with her beloved cockapoo Lola.