Phil Friend OBE

Director, Phil & Friends Ltd

In addition to his professional activities, Phil Friend is also a respected champion for equal opportunities and diversity in general, where his special blend of humour and direct speaking has won admirers from around the world. Phil has made board presentations and speeches and provided consultancy on a wide range of disability and diversity related topics in the UK. He has also worked on disability and diversity projects in Estonia, Romania, Germany, Canada and the USA. He was awarded an OBE in 2001 for services to equal opportunities and disabled people and made a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts in February 2007.

Phil has had a number of articles published and is a regular contributor on national/local television and radio, he has also appeared in several video productions commissioned by Sky, Employer's Forum on Disability, various Tourist Boards and Angel Productions.

His passionate commitment is to create a more equitable life for everyone by illustrating the practical and realistic steps that can be taken by both businesses and individuals to make a real difference.

In addition to his Phil & Friends commitments, he is a director of Dining with a Difference and the All Inclusive Dining Club. Phil is also very active with a number of voluntary organisations. He is the Vice Chair of Disability Rights UK, former Chair of Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation (RADAR), a former member of the National Employment Panel, chair of the Able to Work Committee, a member of the London Development Agency's Equality and Diversity Committee and a member of the Association of Disabled Professionals. He is also an associate of Business Disability Forum, a Churchill Fellow and a former chair of the Independent Advisory Group for Surrey Police.