Phil Friend





"The dinner was hugely impactual, thought provoking and barrier breaking"

Liseli Thomas,

D&I - BP International




"Fantastic event - It was probably one of the most successful events that I have ever attended, given the feedback coming in from our senior members."

Liz Potter,

UBS Investment Bank




"The evening exceeded my expectations, which were already high"

Brian Popplestone, Managing Director - Fulcrum Connections Ltd




"I appreciated the way that you were willing to customise the offering for us and it paid dividends with thirty of our partners leaving the event engaged and motivated to drive the change we want to see. This is a really unique and innovative approach to disability training, particularly suited to a firm's leadership."

Robin Heath,

Leadership Team-

Ernst & Young




Dining with a Difference logo
Photo: Phil Friend







Phil Friend



Phil Friend, Director


Phil & Friends - Director


Phil Friend himself a wheelchair user, is acknowledged as the UK's foremost consultant on disability matters. A powerful and highly popular communicator, his company – Phil & Friends - provides consultancy to many of the country's best-known companies. In addition to his professional activities, he 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.


He has made many 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, Poland, 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. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science (Hon DSc) in 2009 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to equality and diversity from University of Hertfordshire.


Phil has had numerous articles published and is a regular contributor on national/local television and radio; he has also appeared in several video productions commissioned by the BBC, Sky, the Business Disability Forum, various Tourist Boards and Angel Productions. He is the co-author of “Why are you pretending to be normal?” a self-help book designed to help disabled people manage rather than cope with their disability.


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.


He is a Director of Dining with a Difference and is also very active within the voluntary sector. He is the former Chair of Royal Association for Disability and Rights (RADAR) and Disability Rights (UK) and is now an Ambassador for the organisation. He is Vice President of the Level Playing Field Association, a former Commissioner on the Extra Costs of Disability Commission and a member of the Association of Disabled Professionals and Vice Chair of the BT Customer Inclusion Panel. Phil is also a long standing Associate of the Business Disability Forum, Chair of Research Institute for Consumer Affairs (RICA), and Vice Chair of the English Federation for Disability Sport, a Churchill Fellow and a former chair of the Independent Advisory Group for Surrey Police.


© 2015 Dining With a Difference Ltd.

Registered company in England and Wales, No. 03966714

3 College Yard, Lower Dagnall Street, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL3 4PA


Photography courtesy of Steve Best