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Skills for life

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By Fiona Reid
Skills for life

HOW are you when it comes to baking a cake?

What about sewing on a button, or dressmaking?
A new survey by the Scottish Women’s Institutes (SWI) of 1000 Scottish women of all ages shows that women in Dumfries and Galloway women are proficient in baking and button sewing, but less skilled in dressmaking.
All those in the region who were asked can whip up a cake or scone, and 89 per cent can sew on a button.
But just 44 per cent of lassies in D&G can make a garment – unlike the Orkneys where 100 per cent make their own clothes.
When it comes to new skills, the top ones that most Scottish women would like to learn are foreign languages, musical instruments, painting and drawing, DIY, sports, knitting and cooking.
Also on the list were sewing, crochet, driving, singing, dancing and flying.
The survey was published ahead of the SWI national conference and as part of the organisation’s rebranding.
Following a drop in membership, they are doing a recruitment drive to show the group is relevant to modern lifestyles and is a place for learning skills as well as for fun and friendship.
Chairman Christine Hutton said: “This survey shows two key things for our organisation. Firstly, that Institutes across Scotland are already delivering what many women want – but not everyone is aware of the scope of our activities. Women who join us can learn to cook, bake, sew and artistic skills as well as joining our choirs, poetry competitions, drama groups, gardening activities and photography classes.
“But more importantly, as we approach our centenary, we need to be offering skills and activities relevant to what today’s women want.”


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