Phil Friend (OBE Hon D.Sc. FRSA) is acknowledged as one of the UK's foremost consultants on disability matters. A powerful and respected communicator, his company – Phil & Friends – provided consultancy to many of the country's best-known companies.
Phil was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science (Hon D.Sc.) in 2009 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to equality and diversity from University of Hertfordshire.
In addition to podcasting, he has had several articles published and is a regular contributor on national and local television and radio. He has also published a self-help book with his colleague Dave Rees. Entitled "Why are you pretending to be normal?" it explores how disabled people can manage, rather than just cope, with their disability.
On a personal note, Phil is an armchair sports fan, and has travelled extensively throughout the UK and Europe with his wife Sue in their wheelchair accessible motorhome.
He has four adult children and five grandchildren. He is very close to his family and loves spending time with them and takes a keen interest in their hobbies and pastimes.
Phil put aside most of his professional consultancy work in 2020 and now concentrates on contributing to and producing podcasts. As a disabled person himself, his podcasting work focuses on disability equality and inclusion issues.
Throughout his long career as a consultant, Phil delivered speeches and presentations to thousands on a wide range of disability and diversity related topics in the UK. He has also worked as a consultant on disability and diversity projects in Estonia, Romania, Poland, Germany, Canada and the USA. He was awarded an OBE in 2001 for services to equal opportunities and disabled people.
Phil remains very active within the voluntary sector. Between 2005/15 he was the Chair of Disability Rights UK (previously RADAR) and is now an Ambassador for the organisation. He is a Vice President of the Level Playing Field Association a disabled sports supporters organisation (formerly NADS), Chair of the Research Institute for Disabled Consumers (RiDC) and the Vice Chair of the Activity Alliance formerly the English Federation of Disability Sport, a member of the Association of Disabled Professionals, Vice Chair of BT's Customer Inclusion Panel, a former Commissioner on the Extra Costs Commission. He is also an Associate of the Business Disability Forum, a Churchill Fellow, and was made a fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts in February 2007.