My friend is not the same since I lent him money

DEAR DEIDRE: My mate has gone all weird since I lent him some money with no sign of him paying me back.

We have been friends since school and are both 35. I’ve got mobility issues since I had a motorbike accident. He’s been good to me, especially through the pandemic, getting me shopping and taking me out when he can.

Recently his brother died and he asked me to lend him some money to help with funeral costs. I lent him £500. He was supposed to start paying me back two months ago but when I asked him, he changed the subject.

He’s not calling around as much as he did and when he does come to see me, he only stays 10 minutes. His neighbour has told me that he’s borrowed money from her too and apparently he is having vodka delivered by a delivery company almost every other day.

Can I get my money back?

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DEIDRE SAYS:I’m sorry to say that I doubt it, unless you had something in writing from him. It sounds as if he’s grieving his brother and drinking is allowing him some escape.

When he calls in again, tell him you understand how tough he might be finding things and you’re worried about him.

Encourage him to find some help from a bereavement counsellor. Sue Ryder (https://www.sueryder.org/  0808 164 4572) offers six weeks of free bereavement counselling.

You’re more likely to start getting repayments if he’s mentally in a better place.

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