The widow of a respected Sunderland businessman who died in a tragic accident has pledged to continue the work they began together by launching a company in his memory.
Two years after the death of print company boss Martyn Young his widow Donna has set up a new business with ambitions to build on his legacy.
Print My Way uses Martyn’s initials in its name but Donna says his influence will extend to much more than the sign over the door.
Donna said: “I came up with the name in recognition of what Martyn brings to this new business.
“He might not be here in person but he is built into everything we have and everything we do and we will carry on delivering the friendly and fantastic services Martyn was so well known for.”
Donna and Martyn set up their first print company, First2Print at the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) in Sunderland in 2007, building it into a multi-million-pound business before it attracted London-based Precision Print as a buyer in 2014.
The couple remained working for the firm until Martyn’s fatal forklift truck accident in February 2017 at the company’s site on Sunderland Enterprise Park, off Wessington Way.
After taking some time out of the industry Donna says she is now ready to begin a new chapter for herself and four-year-old son Daniel and has returned to her roots at the BIC to launch Print My Way.
She said: “I’m so proud of what Martyn and I built together.
“We had a brilliant business with a brilliant team and I know I can do that again.
“I’ve taken some time off to come to terms with what happened and there have certainly been some really hard times but now I feel strong and I’m finally looking forward to the future because I know it’s what Martyn would want.
“He’d be proud to see me doing this.
“I suppose some people might think it odd that I’ve chosen to build the business in a unit right opposite to where Martyn lost his life.
“But I feel close to him here and the daily reminder of happy times we had here is a comfort and it makes me more resilient.
“It’s right where we started things together and this is the natural place for me to start again.
“The guys at the BIC have given me so much support over the years – not just when the accident happened but throughout the process of setting up and building a highly successful business.
“It feels so good to have that support network around me as I begin again.
“We are starting small but I have every ambition to grow Print My Way to become a proud Sunderland employer again.”
Donna will use her experience in the print industry to lead an all-woman team and she says she is looking forward to reconnecting with Sunderland’s business community that provided so much support in the wake of Martyn’s death.
She said: “As three women with an ambition to make an impact in a male dominated industry, this is an exciting new challenge and one we are relishing.
“We will pride ourselves on value for money and customer service, treating those who place the occasional order with just as much importance and consideration as those with huge budgets.
“The local business community has given us so much support, raising money in Martyn’s memory and giving me the push I needed to start again.
“I’ve missed everyone we used to do business with and want to say thank you for their good wishes and strength.”
Donna Surtees, Centre Manager at the BIC, said: “We joined Sunderland’s business community in mourning the tragic loss of Martyn, who was a much loved and respected figure in the area.
“It’s fantastic to welcome Donna back to the BIC to carry on the work they began together and we will be right by her side as she moves into a new and positive chapter of their business success story.”