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Fathom is a word taken from old English meaning ‘to reach out and embrace’. It was used to describe the act of measuring the girth of a tree.

For us, it signals the importance of a physical connection to the natural world, a sense of depth and discovery, and the centrality of an embodied-relational approach to self-worth.

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Our Approach

We believe that the process of working with natural material helps people to see things in a new light – to develop an awareness of, respect for, and love of themselves, others, and the natural world.

We structure our courses around these three foundational elements: 

Conservation
Crafts
Contemplation

About us

The Fathom Trust helps people to re-evaluate their habits of self-perception and recover a sense of meaning and purpose.

We are developing an innovative model of integrated holistic and cost-effective social infrastructure to care for people and planet through craftsmanship, conservation and contemplation.

Who we are

Each class that I attended brought feelings of well-being, friendship and a sense of belonging to something.

Heather Dickens Professional basket maker
Read Heathers story

What we do

We create health and promote healing by working with a community of makers and landowners, creating opportunities for people to participate in the conservation of traditional crafts, landscapes, and cultures.

Wood

Spoon carving, furniture making, and basketry

Food

Bread making, foraging, and fruit picking

Flora

Horticulture, hedge-laying, and forestry

Fauna

Animal-assisted therapy and bee keeping

Textiles

Felting, weaving, embroidery, and leatherwork

Earth

Pottery, dry stone walling, and outdoor adventure

Stories

An Interview with John Bell, Diplomat and Director of the Conciliators Guild

John interviewed Will about the Fathom Trust and his experience of traditional crafts from his time at Turquoise Mountain in Afghanistan.

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An interview with the Philosopher and Psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist

Iain interviewed Will on the origins of Fathom and together they explored why this approach is so desperately needed as a means of restoring people's health and dignity

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Introducing Kickstart apprentices to traditional crafts

We are working with Cardiff & Vale University Health Board to offer a day course in health and wellbeing based on traditional craft making for 200 16-24yr old Kickstart apprentices.

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Sadly we often experience a disconnect between physical and mental health. As a GP in rural practice I am so excited to see The Fathom Trust grow to help patients in their time of need and bring holistic care back to its core.”

Dr Robert Powell GP Partner, Llandovery

“I am convinced that we cannot survive unless we reincorporate in our lives knowledge and wisdom we appear to have lost, and for the loss of which we are paying the price. The Fathom Trust is the practical expression of a philosophy I deeply believe in; I fervently hope it will thrive and grow. On such ventures depend both our individual and communal survival.”

Dr Iain McGilchrist Psychiatrist, Philosopher, Author

Our Partners

We are working with a network of landowners across Wales, including the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority and the Strata Florida Trust, to develop partnerships with the NHS, schools and local authorities.