About The Alchemist

Commerce and ethics are not mutually exclusive. Bev Garside leverages her years of expertise to support those seeking lasting, sustainable change that’s good for people and good for the planet.

Whether individual, cultural or organisational change, The Female Alchemist works collaboratively with clients to fully embrace change and become agents of transformation.

About The
Female Alchemist

Whether individual, cultural, or organisational change, The Female Alchemist works collaboratively with clients to help them fully embrace change and become agents of transformation.

Often working in critical situations, The Female Alchemist brings reassurance and support whilst working in a changing environment. This approach has proven to be particularly successful with Charities that suddenly find they are in trouble. When too many things feel out of control, The Female Alchemist brings order and calm from a strategic level.

We work with a range of Government Offices and Development Agencies to ensure regeneration programmes are effective and sustainable. This social and economic regeneration expertise was critical when managing the Information Contract for Communities First on behalf of Welsh Government. For this project we hosted three high profile conferences with 400 delegates, 65 exhibitors and Ministerial Keynote speakers.

These experiences have helped shape strong ethical values including the belief that commerce and ethics are not mutually exclusive. The Female Alchemist leverages years of expertise to support those seeking lasting, sustainable change that’s good for people and good for the planet.

About Bev Garside

I’m a qualified change agent with over 30 years’ experience working with public and voluntary sector organisations to bring about impacting change. While some shy away from the challenges that come about with inevitable change, I strongly feel that with the right framework and support, it can be a positive experience for the whole organisation.

Real growth happens when you leave comfort zones. That being said, I acknowledge that when you’re asking someone to stand at the edge of a cliff and look over, they must have trust that you will keep them safe. This is what I believe to be unique about my approach.

As it happens, being high on a cliff or up in the mountains is also what inspires some of my best work. I am lucky enough to live in the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park and, as an ethical vegan and outdoorsy person, it’s true that most of my ‘thinking time’ takes place high up and in nature.

In addition to my work, I sit on the grants panel of BBC Children in Need Wales and I am the Chair of the Veterans Advisory Pensions Committee who seek to ensure the best outcome for Veterans and their families in Wales. If there’s time left after all this, I enjoy taking part in endurance challenges for charity which tend to get me back to my favourite place, in the mountains.


Lorna Westwood

“Bev was an invaluable lifeline for the Small Charities Coalition in helping us close the charity and find a new home for our key services with the NCVO. She is deeply knowledgable on charity governance and law and consistently provided clear, straightforward advice and recommendations. Bev really became a trusted partner in helping us navigate a very challenging period. On behalf of the Board of Trustees of the Small Charities Coalition, I wholeheartedly recommend her services to any Charity Board looking for expert guidance and support through difficult times.”

Small Charities Coalition

Jan Johnson

“Bev’s ability to meet deadlines in a timely manner whilst maintaining friendly professional boundaries with honest constructive feedback and with the bonus of having some who knows the Voluntary Sector was worth a fortune to the Association.”

Cardiff YMCA

Sarah Case

“Our experience of working with Bev is that issues are resolved whether they be HR, funding, governance or controls – and the organisation is able to move forward on a more stable platform.”


Andrew Padmore

“As Chair of Cynnal Cymru I would like to give a big thank you to Bev and the team at Empower for supporting the board in delivering a key aspect of the organisation’s strategic vision.”

Chief Executive at egnida

Melanie Goodwin

“Bev has been invaluable assisting with her professional understanding during the closing of First Person Plural. She managed interactions objectively and sensitivity while being clear and firm in her communications. Her understanding helped, what is inevitably a difficult process to be less painful, ensuring many of the possible pitfalls were avoided. Thank you.”

First Person Plural