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Fitting tribute to Stephen Clements as charity is set up to keep his legacy alive

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Radio Ulster presenter Stephen Clements who died last month

Radio Ulster presenter Stephen Clements who died last month

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

John Conaghan of Inspire Wellbeing, Cate Conway, Gavin Clements and Gareth Murphy of We are Vertigo

John Conaghan of Inspire Wellbeing, Cate Conway, Gavin Clements and Gareth Murphy of We are Vertigo

Radio Ulster presenter Stephen Clements who died last month

Family and friends of the late BBC Radio Ulster presenter Stephen Clements are planning to keep his memory alive by setting up a new charity in his name.

Stephen's brother Gavin Clements and his friends, former Q Radio sidekick Cate Conway and Gareth Murphy, owner of the leisure business We Are Vertigo, are the three trustees behind the new Stephen Clements Foundation, which will be launched in the coming weeks.

Mr Clements passed away on January 7, aged 47, just hours before he was due to go on air on his recently launched mid-morning radio programme.

A private funeral service was held for the married father-of-two, attended by family and close friends.

Mr Clements was an ambassador and patron of various charities including Autism NI, The Mary Peters Trust, NSPCC Northern Ireland, Childline, The Cancer Fund for Children and Marie Curie NI.

During his brief time working with the BBC prior to his death, he also co-hosted BBC Northern Ireland's Children in Need programme last November with sports presenter Holly Hamilton.

News of the charity in his honour was revealed on the new Twitter account being run by his family for sharing pictures, videos and messages.

We want to keep his memory alive and for his children Poppy and Robbie to get involved as they grow older to see the good work that their dad did. Gareth Murphy

It was created after the former Q Radio presenter turned Radio Ulster host's own Twitter account was deleted following his death.

Mr Clements had regularly used his various social media accounts to engage directly with his thousands of fans.

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John Conaghan of Inspire Wellbeing, Cate Conway, Gavin Clements and Gareth Murphy of We are Vertigo

John Conaghan of Inspire Wellbeing, Cate Conway, Gavin Clements and Gareth Murphy of We are Vertigo

John Conaghan of Inspire Wellbeing, Cate Conway, Gavin Clements and Gareth Murphy of We are Vertigo

His brother Gavin had described their removal as "heartbreaking", making a direct plea on Twitter to urge the company to explain why the Twitter feed, which he had described as Stephen's "diary", had disappeared.

The Stephen Clements Foundation will serve as a vehicle to drive money to the many charities close to Stephen's heart.

Fans have praised the touching gesture, including actress Bronagh Waugh who tweeted: "What a gorgeous idea and fitting tribute to carry on Stephen's legacy.

"Well done to all involved!"

Gareth Murphy told the Belfast Telegraph on Friday: "At Stephen's funeral, Gavin, Cate and I talked about the massive outpouring of grief that there was for him and how we would try to turn his tragic passing into something positive.

"We wanted to continue Stephen's legacy since he did such a huge amount of work for charities himself and always wanted to do good and to help people.

"Through the foundation we plan to run various events throughout the year to raise money for really worthy charities in Northern Ireland such as those involved in mental health and suicide awareness.

"We want to keep his memory alive and for his children Poppy and Robbie to get involved as they grow older to see the good work that their dad did.

"We are going to raise an awful lot of money so it won't be spread thinly across charities. Stephen was the patron of so many charities and didn't charge them for his services.

This is going to be a really worthy cause for people to get behind as there was a massive amount of support for Stephen when he was alive and also now with his death. Gareth Murphy

"He just wanted to be involved because he was so passionate when it came to wanting to help.

"We want to continue doing all the things that Stephen wanted to do when he was alive and to get the public behind us so they will help us with that goal."

Gareth said lots of fundraising and social events are planned over the coming months including a Gala Ball and a Random Act of Kindness Day on December 17, which would have been Stephen's 48th birthday.

"We have a whole 12-month plan which we are working on at the moment and will be released in the near future," he added.

"We have already been inundated with people asking how they can donate to the foundation or help us in any way.

"This is going to be a really worthy cause for people to get behind as there was a massive amount of support for Stephen when he was alive and also now with his death.

"People who never met Stephen are grieving heavily as are those who knew him.

"This will help channel a lot of positivity out of a really horrible situation.

"From working with the foundation, Gavin, Cate and I know that it's helping us deal with what has happened in a positive way and to make the best of it," Gareth added.

The announcement comes less than a month since a billboard tribute to the DJ appeared in his home town of Carrickfergus.

The large image, erected on the Belfast Road, shows a smiling Mr Clements surrounded by a collage of heartfelt tweets, composed by some of Northern Ireland's best-known personalities.

The billboard carries the words 'Remembering Stephen Clements', while underneath a message reads: "Thank you for bringing joy and laughter to so many. Forever in our hearts."

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