Damiano La Rocca, an Events Management BA (Hons) graduate of London Met’s Guildhall School of Business and Law founded his business Seable 10 years ago, after receiving early-stage support from London Met’s Student Enterprise programme and the Accelerator.
Seable’s mission was and still is to provide accessible, tailored holidays to the visually impaired community. Their team offers a range of amazing and inclusive trips that can improve their customers’ well-being through tailored activities that suit their individual needs and allowing them to enjoy a stress-free holiday.
Over the past 10 years, Seable has become a multi-award winning social enterprise and the only tour operator to offer assisted, active and tailored holidays to the visually impaired – helping to improve and offer independence, inclusion and wellbeing in the tourism industry.
The idea for the business was sparked 20 years ago, when Damiano’s father, Carmelo, was hit by a drunk driver. While in hospital, he befriended a young man named Martino who had suffered a similar accident. As Carmelo recovered the use of his legs, Martino sadly did not. During their conversations in hospital Martino expressed his desire to try scuba diving. At that time accessible scuba diving was not available in Sicily. Being an experienced diver, Carmelo took it upon himself to teach Martino, who went on to receive a Guinness World Record as the first paraplegic man to dive 59 metres.
Together Carmelo and Martino started a charity that focuses on rehabilitation through accessible sports. They have helped many people over the years, including visually impaired Benedetta Spampinato, who has since achieved a World Record for deep sea diving. This work inspired our founder, Damiano La Rocca, to explore the topic of accessible tourism. He discovered that holidays for the visually impaired were not widely catered for and set out to change this.
Whilst studying at London Metropolitan University Damiano got involved with London Met’s Student Enterpise programme and the Accelerator, London Met’s business incubator. With our early stage support, Damiano used the mentoring he received to start Seable Holidays.
Damiano is now a member of the Office for the Disability Issues for the Disability Regional Stakeholder Network and a member of the Accessible European Network of Accessible Tourism. His work has been recognised by various organisations for its award-winning services, delivering and scaling social impact with ground-breaking support to the visually impaired.
Seable carries out social impact reports to identify changes in our clients wellbeing as a consequence of their Seable holiday:
- 100% of people travelling alone for the first time returned with increased confidence and independence
- 60% made new friends
- 40% started a new hobby, joined a sport team and started living more independently
The results have shown that participants felt able to achieve important personal goals and returned home with increased confidence in themselves. Most importantly, they feel part of an empowered community.
Support Seable Holidays’ cause through crowdfunding
The impact of Covid-19 has been extremely tough on the visually-impaired community. There are over 350,000 blind people in the UK, of which two-thirds have become less independent and isolated since the start of the pandemic. Now that it’s safe for us to operate again, we are determined to help counteract and overcome these issues.
With rising costs of living, it is now more important than ever to keep Seable holidays affordable. Your kind donations will help to bring down these costs for those in need of extra support.
For each holiday destination we train local guides to become chaperones to help our clients throughout their trip. Chaperones provide company, guidance and all round assistance. Without our chaperones, Seable simply cannot exist.
During the pandemic we were unfortunately unable to provide further work for our chaperones. Your donations will allow us to rebuild our team, relaunch our destinations and help cover the cost of training which would otherwise make the overall holiday costs unaffordable.
Want to help Seable support more people through accessible holidays? Visit their recently launched crowdfunding campaign.