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David Cameron starts bonfire in Cotswolds village

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: November 07, 2013

BURNING AMBITION: Prime Minister David Cameron at the Old Swan & Minster Hotel fireworks event in Minster Lovell

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DAVID Cameron is used to sparking fiery debates in the House of Commons, but he lit a different kind of fire in a Cotswold village.

The Prime Minister started the bonfire when he and his family joined residents in Minster Lovell for their Guy Fawkes celebrations.

And the fireworks and bonfire raised money for a cause which is no doubt close to Mr Cameron's heart: Specialeffect, a charity which provides technology to help disabled people.

Mr Cameron's son Ivan died aged just six in 2009. He was severely disabled and had cerebral palsy and epilepsy.

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The bonfire was held in the grounds of the Old Swan & Minster Mill hotel, which is owned by Lana de Savary, the wife of international entrepreneur and philanthropist Peter de Savary.

As well as the Prime Minster and his family, there were more than 230 people at the event, which could be seen from miles away and it raised a total of £540 for the charity.

Mrs de Savary said: "We were delighted to welcome the Prime Minster and his family.

"It was a real good old family occasion and, given the great attendance and feedback from the local community, all the team's hard work paid dividends.

"I'm very proud of their achievement and the money they raised for Specialeffect in the process."

It was the second Guy Fawkes celebration to be held at the Old Swan & Minster Mill.

This was the second time that Mr Cameron has helped local residents while raising money for a good cause in the past week.

The Prime Minister, who lives in Chipping Norton, gave his backing to Springbank resident Johannes Shanmugam when they met recently.

Johannes, 50, met Mr Cameron in Oxfordshire while he was doing a 112-mile five-day trek around the Cotswolds to raise thousands of pounds for the British military charity Help for Heroes and Serendip Children's Home in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan Johannes said: "We took a wrong turning while we were in Oxfordshire and saw Mr Cameron as he was out shopping.

"We explained what we were doing and he said 'well done'."

Johannes said the Prime Minister posed for a picture with the walkers before they continued on their way.

He added: "It was a tremendous encouragement. We did two extra miles, but it was really worth taking the wrong turn."

To support Johannes, visit h2hwalk.org/donate.html

To donate to Specialeffect, go to specialeffect.org.uk

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