The Foundation was set up in 2003 by Ernest Hecht, one of England’s major independent book publishers.

About Ernest Hecht

Ernest Hecht was Managing Director and owner of Souvenir Press Ltd, one of the few remaining independently owned major publishing houses in Britain. He was also a legendary figure in the UK publishing industry and was awarded the first lifetime achievement award at the British Book Awards in 2001. He died in 2018, after 67 years of successfully leading the field in independent publishing.

Ernest was honoured by the Queen in her birthday honours list 2015 by being appointed to the Order of the British Empire – O.B.E – for services to publishing and charity.

Further information on Ernest Hecht and his legacy can be found here. Various tributes were made to him on his death, including obituaries in The Guardian and New Statesman.

Now in its 68th year, Souvenir Press continues to provide an extraordinarily eclectic programme that includes five Nobel Prize-winners (two for literature), that nestle alongside pioneering books on rock ‘n’ roll, football, and disability, often by writers with alternative viewpoints who challenge conventional wisdom.

These wide-ranging interests continue to be reflected in the Trustees’ charitable decisions.

 About the Foundation

The Foundation’s primary objective is to support the work of UK registered charities by awarding grants that benefit the disadvantaged and promote the advancement of the arts and education.

It awards grants that will make a difference in a particular field, especially for the vulnerable, the young, and the elderly.


The trustees are Barb Jungr, Robert Ward and Ben Barkow.