If you’re in debt, there are experts who can help you

Have your say

See you later January, that month that has no real purpose apart from to make us poorer as bills land on the doormats, roofs spring leaks and boilers go kaput.

It can be a tough time, especially for those who don’t have spare cash or savings to get the boiler fixed, for example. Things can start to look a bit bleak.

It’s easy to have your head turned by payday lenders – those loan sharks who should, in my opinion, be outlawed for preying on the vulnerable and the desperate.

And then the spiral of debt gets out of control. Last March, a man my age took his own life because his debt had got out of hand. He had no full-time job and could not pay his bills.

He fell into arrears and, fearing he had let his family down, he felt he could not reach out for help.

So he took the only option he thought he had.

That man was Matt Berry who, at 34, was a well-known DJ in the city – specifically at Drift in Palmerston Road, Southsea.

But the terribly sad thing is that taking his own life wasn’t the only option open to him.

Anyone who finds themselves in debt, for whatever reason, should get themselves to their nearest Citizens’ Advice Bureau.

In Portsmouth, the CAB has a specialist debt advice service at its Ark Royal House base in Winston Churchill Avenue.

The experts there will help, they will not judge, and they certainly won’t tell your parents who, of course, would much rather you start from scratch than end it all.

A week ago Matt was honoured at The News Guide Awards at the Kings Theatre in Southsea. He had been voted the posthumous winner of the Best DJ award.

His sister, Rebecca Glew, summed it up when she went up on stage and collected the award on his behalf, saying: ‘Matt should be here – if he only believed in himself as much as we did.’

She’s absolutely right.

There is always another option. So if those bills are piling up, please make just one trip to the CAB or make a call to its office.