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HOST, a charity promoting international friendship, is urgently seeking hosts willing to offer hospitality, for a few days over Christmas, to mature overseas students who are temporarily studying in Britain and are unable to return home for the holiday. For further information, contact:

HOST, 18 Northumberland Avenue, London WC2N 5BJ, telephone 071-925 2595.

Joanna Gibbon

The Independent welcomes details of appeals from readers. They should be sent in writing (no more than 100 words) to Gazette (Appeals), The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB (fax 071-956 9358). Please include a telephone number.

The Central Sterile Supply Department at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, 1992, oil on canvas, 3ft by 6ft, by Ivy Smith, who was artist in residence at the hospital last autumn. The painting is one of four which Exeter Health Care Arts commissioned from the artist: all show hospital staff at work and have been hung in the main concourse of the hospital.

Exeter Health Care Arts was set up last year to purchase and commission new works of art for the hospital, which is being entirely rebuilt; it aims to improve the quality of the hospital's environment. Exeter Health Care Arts intends, through commissioning paintings, ceramics, glass, sculpture and textiles, to make the new building brighter, friendlier and less daunting for those new to such surroundings and more pleasant for those who work there. In addition to Ivy Smith's paintings, a tapestry of the Exe Estuary by Pat Johns has recently been completed and installed.

Future plans include placing a large piece of sculpture outside the hospital's entrance, redesigning a courtyard for children with cancer, and a stained glass window for the chapel. Exeter Health Care Arts is appealing for funds to continue its work. For further information, contact: Arts Co-ordinator, Exeter Health Care Arts, Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, Barrack Road, Wonford, Exeter EX2 5DW, telephone 0392 402366.